Photo: Courtesy of Hyundai

Hyundai Samho names world’s first LNG-powered large bulker duo

South Korea’s Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HSHI) has completed the construction of the world’s first LNG-fueled large bulk carriers.

HSHI held a naming ceremony for two 180,000-ton bulk carriers operating on LNG last Friday, 11 December.

Hyundai said that the vessels, which are the first two in a series of four ships of the same design, were dubbed HL Eco and HL Green, boasted great eco-friendliness as its names suggested.

With a length of 292 metres, a breadth of 45 metres these vessels will also become the first large LNG-fueled vessels to travel an international route that covers South Korea.

The ships are designed to achieve a 99 per cent reduction in emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter (PM), up to 85 per cent in nitrogen oxides (NOx), and 30 per cent in greenhouse gas (GHG), compared to the levels of the existing ships.

Hyundai also stated that the fuel tanks and hulls were constructed entirely of domestically produced steel. The LNG fuel tanks boast a 1,600 cbm storage capacity.

Each ship is equipped with two such LNG fuel tanks, which can provide enough energy to heat 3,300 homes for an entire year. The tanks are composed of 9 per cent nickel steel, which exhibits excellent fracture toughness even at cryogenic temperatures required for LNG storage.

For stable material supplies and market expansion, HSHI and POSCO worked together to improve material quality and meet IMO standards. As a result, the duo was able to apply domestically produced nickel steel to the vessels, which until now was usually applied only to domestic land-based LNG storage facilities.

The HL Eco and HL Green are scheduled for delivery by the end of this month while the other two are set to be delivered by the end of March 2022. When they are all operational, the vessels will make about 10 round trips a year between South Korea and Australia each.

Kim Hyung Kwan, CEO of HSHI, said: “We have built the largest number and varieties of ships operating on LNG among the Korean shipyards. Building on these pioneering successes, we will strive to provide a clear reason for more shipowners to opt for LNG-fueled ships as a measure to meet the IMO 2020 regulation requirements“.