New partnership targets VLAC design development

Greek shipowner Naftomar Shipping And Trading, South Korean shipbuilding major Hanwha Ocean and classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) have partnered up for the design development of a very large ammonia carrier (VLAC).

Courtesy of Bureau Veritas

According to BV, the project will work to help ensure a modern VLAC design can be safely built to operate with both LPG and ammonia as fuel. It will use the current Bureau Veritas rules for ammonia NR 671 as fuel as the basis for helping ensure safety.

The focus will be on global safety aspects, specifically including: ammonia fuel supply system, leak detection, ammonia fuel containment and ammonia bunkering, including hazard identification (HAZID) workshops, BV noted.

Vassilios Dimoulas, Bureau Veritas’ Technology and Innovation Director said that this is an “important project to work with the owner and shipyard to provide a safe pathway to enable a ship designed to carry ammonia, to run on ammonia as fuel. The challenges are specific to ammonia but the process of using a risk based approach and alternative design concepts are ones proven with our decades of work in the seaborne trade in LNG and LNG as fuel – but, we must emphasize, the challenges of ammonia are very different to those of LNG.”

To remind, In November 2023, Naftomar Shipping and Trading confirmed an order at Hanwha Ocean for four 93,000 cbm VLACs for delivery starting in 2026. At the time, Hanwha Ocean claimed that each VLAC would be able to transport 93,000 cubic meters of ammonia, making the vessels the “largest of its kind in the world so far.”

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