Lloyd’s Register (LR), Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) have signed a joint development project (JDP) to produce a ship-to-ship LNG bunkering compatibility study. According to LR, this will comprehensively review the design requirements between 6.6K LNG bunkering ships and 14K TEU LNG-fuelled container ships with the goal of verifying safe ship-to-ship LNG bunkering.

The study aims to help all stakeholders with interest in LNG as fuel to envisage a clear picture of possible options for LNG supply infrastructure. It follows LR’s previous work with LNG-fuelled ship projects with HHI and LNG bunkering ships with HMD.

LR said there is no existing standards or guidelines that cover the design and procedure for safe ship-to-ship LNG bunkering. However, this method of bunkering is preferable for many port authorities for safe and effective port operation and also preferable for ship operators due to cost-effective convenience.

The main objective of the JDP is to investigate the practicability of the LNG supply model by ship-to-ship between the typical size of 6.6K LNG bunkering ships and ultra-large container ships (ULCS). These designs have been reviewed and developed based on the LNG-fuelled system, and accordingly, the study will evaluate the right direction for LNG supply infrastructure.

LR has developed a checklist for the design of LNG bunkering vessels and LNG receiving vessels for this JDP that summarizes the risks related to ship-to-ship LNG bunkering, and also suggests design aspects which are not covered by legislation but are useful in understanding the characteristics of LNG-fuelled/LNG bunkering ships at the design stage.

According to LR, this checklist provides both HHI and HMD with a chance to comprehensively review their design by, not only mandatory rules requirements, but also the prospective guidelines in order to identify the scope for further improvements in their design in line with their ships’ operating profiles.

LR, HHI and HMD plan to expand the study for other ship types, including VLCC and Suezmax, following the completion of ULCS study.