HHI Group, KR partner up on developing eco-friendly ships

South Korean majors Hyundai Heavy Industry (HHI) Group and Korean Register (KR) have signed an MOU laying the groundwork for a strategic partnership to address key environmental challenges facing the industry.

Under the MOU, signed on April 12, the two sides plan to exchange technical information and human resources to drive progress on the decarbonization of the shipping industry and the forthcoming IMO regulations.

In the short term, shipowners need to implement measures to meet the EEXI and CII regulations which come into force for existing ships in 2023.

However, in the longer term, shipowners will need to switch to vessels propelled by carbon-neutral fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen.

As part of the MoU, KR and HHI Group will collaborate on:

  • researching optimal solutions to improve the energy efficiency existing ship index (EEXI)
  • developing measures to improve ship operation efficiency to improve carbon intensity indicator (CII)
  • the joint development of non-carbon fueled vessels such as ammonia and hydrogen
  • exploring ways of enhancing the environmental life cycle of a ship by reducing gas emissions, etc.

While responding to the new environmental regulations, the aim is also to strengthen the Korean shipbuilding industry’s technical superiority in the global market, the classification society said.

“Having the world’s strongest track record for building ships propelled by dual fuel such as LNG, LPG and methanol, HHI group will endeavor to develop various technologies to effectively respond to the strengthened environmental regulations thereby creating values for the future market. Through continuous R&D activities and the construction of eco-friendly ships, we will do our best to realize ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) in the shipbuilding sector,” JOO Won-Ho, Executive Vice President of Technical Department of Hyundai Heavy Industries said.

Separately, the Korean Register has developed a web-based EEXI/CII calculation program to help shipping companies comply with the EEXI and CII decarbonization regulations.

Namely, to meet the 2023 regulations, shipowners will need to implement various countermeasures such as applying engine power limitation (EPL), optimizing linear/vessel speed/navigation routes, installing energy-saving devices, or using alternative fuels.

In addition, KR has established a decarbonization taskforce, which is exploring technology for carbon-neutral, alternative marine fuels, and providing industry stakeholders with key information for their fleet operations.

To this regard, KR has added a smart solution to the KR GEARs website, the greenhouse gas online data management software developed in 2019, which allows shipowners to pre-evaluate if their fleet is compliant with the EEXI/CII regulations. 

“KR will actively help the shipping industry to address the challenges and find optimal solutions for EEXI and CII, the IMO’s short-term regulations on decarbonization,” LEE Hyung-chul Chairman and CEO of Korean Register, said.

“We will speed up the development of new technologies such as ammonia and hydrogen carbon neutral-fueled ships, and work to create carbon capture devices that support the competitiveness of the maritime industry, ensuring a sustainable future for all.”