Methanol-ready ECOaster vessel design wins DNV’s green light

A methanol-ready ship concept developed in Oldenburg, Germany, has received Approval in Principle (AIP) from the international classification society DNV.

Copyright HB Hunte Engineering GmbH / Marigraph GmbH

The project is supported by the companies claus rodenberg waldkontor, Fehn Ship Management, Reederei Rörd Braren, and HB Hunte Engineering, which developed the concept for the ECOaster.

The AIP was preceded by an intensive approval process and a comprehensive risk analysis (HAZID) by the classification society DNV, and it pushes the ECOaster project a step closer to its realization.

The ECOaster has been described as a flexible general cargo vessel capable of carrying bulk, general cargo and project cargo. The ship is characterized by its very low fuel consumption and low emissions. According to predictions by the research institute Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt (HSVA), the ECOaster’s fuel consumption is about ten percent lower than that of conventional ships of a comparable size.

The savings are achieved through an optimized hull design combined with a high-efficient propulsion system that can run on the alternative fuel methanol (methanol ready). The ECOaster will also be equipped with a Flettner rotor, which uses the power of the wind to assist the propulsion system and to further reduce fuel consumption.

The ECOaster is 115 meters long and designed for Ice Class 1B. The vessel has a maximum speed of twelve knots and can carry up to 6,000 tons of cargo.

The bridge is located at the front, while the open deck area behind it extends over the entire length and full width. This design enables also the transport of very long pieces of cargo, such as wind turbine blades, with unrestricted visibility.

In addition, the ECOaster has a continuous cargo hold that can be subdivided by movable bulkheads.

With the AIP, the classification society DNV has confirmed that the design of the ECOaster complies with the regulations of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These include the Interim Guidelines for the Safety of Ships using Methyl/Ethyl as Fuel and the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels.