Namura Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. have received Approval in Principle (AiP) from LR for the design of an LNG-fuelled coal carrier.

This is Japan's first joint AIP for an LNG-fuelled vessel by three companies – a shipbuilder, shipping company and cargo owner. The design ensures sufficient cargo capacity without making the hull larger by installing the LNG fuel tank at the stern. In addition, the design includes a tank cover that aims to minimise the risk of onboard fire spreading from the fuel tank.

The three companies recently conducted a Hazard Identification Study (HAZID) and finished the basic design. This is an assessment method to identify hazards (potential risk sources) and occurrence frequencies of the design, and to develop measures to reduce these risks, improving reliability and safety.

As stricter standards on exhaust emissions from commercial vessels have entered into force around the world, LNG is expected to see wider use as vessel fuel. In addition to researching the feasibility of using LNG as fuel, Namura and MOL also strives to reduce its environmental impact, while providing safe, reliable transport services.