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LNG-fuelled bulker project puts spotlight on high manganese steel

27 Jul 2016 09:44 GMT

Cargo tanks of the biggest LNG-fuelled bulk carrier ever ordered are to be made of a cryogenic steel that is high in manganese.



Lloyd's Register Asia's Jin-Tae Lee, Korea Chief Representative & Marine Manager, believes that an existing project to build a giant-sized LNG-powered bulk carrier puts the spotlight on high manganese steel and will act as a trigger to draw attention to its applicability for the marine industry.

Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD) recently signed a contract to build a 50,000-deadweight-tonne (dwt) bulk carrier with Ilshin Logistics. The project is a collaboration between steelmaker POSCO and Ilshin Logistics to develop the first in a new generation of green ships.

The ship is the largest bulk carrier ever ordered to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel. When delivered in the fourth quarter of 2017, the ship will transport limestone cargoes in the Korean coastal trade for POSCO . Lloyd's Register and the Korean Register will provide dual classification and certification, verifying compliance with the International Gas Fuel (IGF) Code.

As previously reported by Bunker Index, the new type of cryogenic steel, developed by POSCO, is high in manganese and will be used for the 500-cubic-metre capacity Type C LNG fuel tank, located on the aft mooring deck. The properties and characteristics of the high manganese steel, as well as the required welding technology, have been proven suitable for cryogenic applications.

In a statement this week, Jin-Tae Lee remarked: "The successful construction of this vessel will be a very good trigger to draw the LNG industry's attention to the widespread adoption of high manganese steel in marine applications, for those who are hesitant to adopt LNG-fuelled systems due to high CAPEX. This contract is evidence that shipping can make progress to address cost challenges as well as provide technical solutions in tough markets and doing so without compromising both safety and performance."

Chang-hyun Yoon, EVP of HMD's Initial Planning Division, explained: "We should not hesitate to adopt new technologies and materials as we strive for a greener shipbuilding and shipping industry. The world's first application of high-manganese steel for an LNG storage tank is a challenge, but I believe that the material expertise of POSCO and the engineering capability of HMD will offer the right solution to the shipowner. Additionally, the technology evolution represented by this project paves the way for small-scale LNG carrier designs incorporating high manganese steel Type C cargo tanks at a competitive price."

POSCO has already received approval for high manganese steel and its welding consumables from LR and other classification societies. The steel is said to be cost-competitive against conventional high-nickel equivalents, and is expected to help reduce capital costs in LNG-fuelled and LNG carrier systems.

Technical Specifications

The ship has been designed with a maximum draught of 12.0 metres, a length overall (LOA) of 191 metres, a breadth of 32.26 metres, and a maximum capacity of 50,000 deadweight tonnes (dwt). The propulsion system is a dual-fuel high-pressure gas injection engine, the HYUNDAI-MAN B&W 6G50ME-C9.5-GI. The LNG gas supply system consists of a high-pressure pump, high-pressure vaporizer, low-pressure vaporizer and a glycol water heating system.




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