ABS, Hudong–Zhonghua and Wärtsilä join forces on IMO 2050 CII-ready LNG carrier

Classification society ABS, shipbuilder Hudong–Zhonghua Shipbuilding (HZS) and technology company Wärtsilä have partnered up to develop “a flexible, future-ready and modular” concept for a future multi-fuel electric liquefied natural gas carrier (LNGC).

Image Courtesy: ABS

Using advanced multi-physics modeling and simulation, the joint development project (JDP) will apply various decarbonization technologies and solutions to the vessel design and operation models to investigate its performance against the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) up to at least 2050.

Specifically, the entire vessel design will be optimized around a compact, electrified, integrated and efficient propulsion power solution that will deliver a significant CO2 reduction immediately and be ready to efficiently integrate new technologies in the future in order to stay ahead of the requirements of CII, supporting the industry’s ambitious towards zero-emission shipping.

The project will unite specialists from the ABS Global Simulation Center and Global Sustainability Center in Singapore, Houston and Athens with HZS’ R&D team and Wärtsilä’s Integrated Systems and Solutions experts.

“The evolving demands of the CII mean vessels will need to be ready to continuously improve their efficiency rating to remain viable for the duration of their operational life,” Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology, commented. 

“Advanced multi-physics modeling and simulation techniques enable development of a vessel with a strong CII profile at launch that is also equipped to take advantage of future decarbonization technologies as they mature… we are excited about the potential of this technology to drive shipping’s decarbonization ambitions and meet IMO 2050 objectives,” he added.

“We are very glad to closely work together with Wärtsilä and ABS to develop the new generation of LNG carriers that offer a low-carbon footprint and low OPEX cost,” Song Wei, R&D Deputy Director of Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, said.

“This … hybrid solution will be developed to power the future LNG carrier, enabling dual-fuel engines running always at best efficiency and providing flexible power supply modes to adapt to various load demands.”

Shipowners are currently faced with unprecedented challenges and uncertainties as they attempt to plan their fleets in order to meet the IMO’s Carbon Intensity Index (CII) carbon reduction trajectory of -70 percent by 2050. What is certain today is that owners must plan now to safeguard a future-proof newbuild vessel design.

By installing and optimizing the vessel design around a compact, electrified and hybridized propulsion system, owners can obtain today a highly optimized and flexible asset that maintains high efficiency across a broad range of vessel speeds and power nodes – making it highly suitable to accommodate needed vessel speed and voyage optimizations in the future, according to the project partners.

“The modular and hybridized nature of this smart propulsion system provides the correct foundation for the introduction of new and potentially highly intermittent low-carbon energy sources and propulsion energy-saving devices both in the newbuild phase and also later as potential retrofit solutions,” Stefan Nysjö, Vice President, Power Supply, Wärtsilä Marine Power, concluded.