ClassNK awards AiPs for SDARI’s vehicle carriers powered by green fuels

Classification society ClassNK has issued Approvals in Principle (AiPs) for three vehicle carrier designs developed by Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI), which will be powered by green fuels.


SDARI has created three models of these vessels to exemplify the new generation of green vehicle carriers, adaptable to various alternative fuel options and catering to future market demands. 

The first AiP acknowledges an ammonia-ready LNG dual fuel vehicle carrier with a capacity of 7,000 CEU, a significant first in China’s independently developed design. The ship will have an overall lenght of 200 meters, a beam of 38 meters and a draft of 8.6 meters. SDARI plans to integrate the GTT MARK III Flex containment system for LNG and ammonia fuel storage to maximize the cargo capacity efficiently.
Furthermore, ClassNK has granted AiPs for both methanol dual fuel and ammonia dual fuel vehicle carriers, each with a capacity of 10,000 CEU, which is envisioned to lead the development of ultra-large vehicle carriers.

ClassNK has engaged in SDARI’s development projects and carried out its review in accordance with the relevant standards, including its latest structural rules Part C and Guidelines for Ships Using Alternative Fuels. 

In November this year, SDARI joined forces with classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) and maritime software provider NAPA to work on 3D model-based approvals for the classification of ships.

The project validated the feasibility of 3D model-based approvals (3D MBA) where classification reviews are directly based on the 3D model provided by the designer rather than requiring multiple conversions to 2D drawings, which is the traditional process.

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ClassNK has also issued Approvals in Principle (AiPs) for four ship designs developed by Marine Design & Research Institute of China (MARIC).

The four designs – a 210k methanol dual-fueled bulk carrier, a 210k ammonia dual-fueled bulk carrier, a 210k LNG dual-fueled bulk carrier, and an 88k LPG dual-fueled very large gas carrier – represent MARIC’s approach to offer a range of environmentally friendly alternatives for the industry transitions towards the ultimate goal of net-zero emissions.

For these accomplishments, ClassNK conducted the verification in line with relevant rules corresponding to respective ship type, including its Guidelines for Ships Using Alternative Fuels.

Fumihiko Higashi, President, Headquarters of ClassNK (China) said: “ClassNK is proud to have completed the design review for these AiPs. We believe this certification, stemming from the collaborative efforts of MARIC and ClassNK, will serve as a testament to the integrity of these diverse designs. More importantly, it acts as a catalyst in accelerating the uptake of alternative fuels onboard, aligning with global environmental goals.”