RINA grants AiP for SDARI’s eco-friendly Aframax tanker design

Italian classification society RINA has granted approval in principle (AiP) to Chinese ship design company SDARI for an eco-friendly Aframax tanker design.


As informed, this vessel is the deliverable of the joint development project, which also includes TMS Tankers as the prospective owner and Finnish technology group Wärtsilä as the engine maker.

According to RINA, the design boasts a “unique” propulsion system, replacing the traditional setup of one 2-stroke main engine and three generators with two medium-speed engines. These engines are capable of powering both the vessel’s propulsion and hotel load.

This novel arrangement is expected to achieve improved fuel efficiency across all speed ranges when compared to today’s standard dual-fuel ships.

Moreover, the design provides a compliance path for shipowners, allowing them to operate close to 2040 without incurring additional costs, according to RINA.

At that point, depending on market dynamics, they can choose to either retrofit the engines to the prevailing global fuel or convert the natural gas to hydrogen fuel, capturing carbon atoms as CO2 for storage and disposal ashore.

“This milestone, celebrated during Posidonia 2024, reflects the strong cooperation between esteemed partners, with the AiP indicating that a detailed specification for building the ship is already in place. It underscores the design’s maturity and the comprehensive review of ship performance by all parties involved,” it was concluded.

To remind, SDARI received approval in principle from classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) for ammonia-fueled 8,200 TEU boxship design. The design was developed in partnership with Swiss shipping giant MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and MAN E&S, a subsidiary of German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES).

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In a separate statement, RINA revealed it joined the SEA-LNG coalition. The classification society has carried out technology qualification, surveying during construction and classification of the first offshore floating storage regasification unit (FSRU).

RINA has also classified the world’s first LNG-fuelled cruise ship and participated in various international research studies on using liquified natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel.

The classification society recently announced a contract for the design, approval and construction supervision of the fourth and fifth Excel-class cruise ships for SEA-LNG member Carnival, with all vessels powered by LNG.

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In addition, a RINA-led study reveals that Well-to-Wake emissions in the Pilbara-to-Asia iron ore export trade route can be reduced by over 90% by 2050 through the use of LNG.

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Rotoboost, a global hydrogen technology company, also joined the coalition.

“The shipping industry’s decarbonisation debate is moving from theoretical discussions about what might work in the long-term future to what is practical and realistic right now. RINA and ROTOBOOST provide expertise, experience, and technological solutions that further unlock the potential of LNG and its pathway as the leading alternative marine fuel for the shipping industry today,” Peter Keller, SEA-LNG chairman, commented.

Like other members, they are actively demonstrating how we can chart a pragmatic course to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from marine fuels through developments in liquefied biomethane and e-methane.”