Photo: CG of a coal carrier scheduled for actual ship demonstration. Image by MOL

ClassNK approves methane slip reducing system for LNG-fueled ships

The classification society ClassNK has granted approval in principle to a Japanese trio for the methane oxidation catalyst system for LNG-fueled vessels.

ClassNK approves methane slip reducing system for LNG-fueled ships
CG of a coal carrier scheduled for actual ship demonstration. Image by MOL

The system reduces methane slip by placing a methane oxidation catalyst in an LNG fuel engine and oxidizing it.

In gas engines, a portion of the methane in the LNG fuel emits into the atmosphere as unburned, via the exhaust. Methane has a higher GHG effect than CO2 and its slip reduction is required to achieve GHG reductions.

Specifically, the goal is to achieve 70 per cent reduction for LNG-fueled vessels over a six-year period from 2021 to 2026. 

Japanese engineering corporation Hitachi Zosen, shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and tech firm Yanmar Power Technologies (YPT) are behind the project. Hitachi Zosen and YPT created the system design. On the other hand, MOL and Namura Shipbuilding are to build the actual demonstration vessel and design the system’s installation.

ClassNK issued an AiP to equipment and systems that are unprecedented or have very few precedents. Thus, the classification society confirmed that the establishment and safety of the systems meet the current rules and guidelines.

Moreover, this is the first time in the world that a methane oxidation catalyst system has received approval in principle.

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Japan’s NEDO picked the methane slip reduction project for next-generation ship development under Green Innovation Fund.

The companies say they are working together closely to conduct risk assessments and implement other measures.

This time, they received confirmation that the proposed system meets the requirements of the International Code of Safety for Ship Using Gases or Other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) and other regulations.