Company gets requested AIP from class to show Lng retrofits are possible
Very large crude carriers and large capsize bulk vessels under 10 years old could be ideal for conversions to run off LNG says, repair and conversion specialist Newport Shipping.
The company has gained an approval in principle for its retrofit idea where it will offer financing options to encourage owners to do conversions. This means class societies have said the retrofitting proposal is feasible, though of course each individual retrofit plan would still need full class design approval.
Ship owners face a number of challenges in reducing the emissions of their vessels as they eye the requirement for the 2030 targets being set by the IMO. In short vessels need to meet the requirements of an energy efficiency existing ship index, where their calculated emissions will need to be below a certain benchmark for the ship size and type, and also the carbon intensity indicator which will be more operationally focused and set to a rating (not dissimilar to a home appliance energy rating) where they are expected to be modified or operated in a way to be better than a given grade.
Class societies have predicted that they will be busy in issuing certificates of compliance as owners seek to understand what is needed, but expect many owners to have to make changes to vessels.
Talking to journalists about the retrofitting service offer, Newport Shipping Managing Director Xia Lianghui said that there could be demand for retrofitting, as vessels built before the impact of the EEDI (which applies to vessels designed and built after 20119 will still have an operational life ahead of them and scrapping does not make sense.
When comparing LNG to diesel fuels or heavy fuel oil, the gas offers a 25% reduction of CO2 emissions and Xia also points to the viability of then easily switching from fossil fuel derived LNG to synthetic gas and biogases as and when those fuels become available and economical.
need to make it easy
However, retrofitting is an expensive option and would not be an easy choice for a shipowner, hence the focus on vessels younger than 10 years of age. Xia claims that payback in terms of saved fuel costs when comparing LNG to diesel would be up to five years. To help sugar the pill, Newport is also offering to do all the project planning for a retrofit as well as taking care of the docking with one of it partner yards, as well as offering financing options to help the owner spread the costs.
“For vessels less than 10 years old there is sufficient time to repay the retrofit costs through fuel savings and then go on to reap the benefits” he said. “While LNG is not perfect, and not the only choice, as there are many other options being developed, we believe that with LNG we can offer a practical solution that owners can start using today especially on deep sea shipping routes.”
While there will be only a limited number of vessels such a project would be suitable for, Newport is also looking at extending the idea of retrofitting to other vessel types such as container vessels.
The retrofit of a VLCC could take up to a year to plan and perform, with 10 months being spent on design work and preparation and up to