HL GREEN – World’s First LNG Powered Bulk Carrier

Ever since the Sulphur cap convention is implemented, the ship owners and concerned dignitaries are discovering many other ways to propel the ship with least amount of emissions into the atmosphere. LNG propulsion is one among the queue of the alternative fuels. Recently, a bulk carrier named HL GREEN was in the headlines as the first LNG powered vessel of its kind.

On 11 December 2020, the shipyard in Mokpo held a christening ceremony for the two ships, which were named HL Eco and HL Green. They are the world’s first LNG-powered bulk carriers and the environmentally friendly cargo ships that POSCO has introduced to replace conventional cargo ships. POSCO’s 9% nickel steel was used for the fuel tanks of the two vessels and 42,000 tonnes of POSCO steel plates were used for the bodies. The ship’s owner, South Korean steel-making company, POSCO, made it official on 29th January, 2021 that the ship is built for international voyages which would run on LNG. HL GREEN first sailed out from the port of Mokpo, South Korea in December, 2020, loaded iron ores from Australia on 20th January, 2021 and arrived at Gwangyang, South Korea.

Talking more about the ship HL GREEN :

  • Vessel Name: HL GREEN
  • IMO: 9869344
  • Vessel Type Generic: Cargo
  • Vessel Type Detailed: Bulk Carrier
  • Flag: Panama [PA]
  • Length: 292 m
  • Breadth: 45 m
  • Height: 24.5m
  • Gross Tonnage: 97545
  • Deadweight Tonnage: 179649

The ship design and construction was done by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

The vessel carried 180,000 ton of iron ore making it the largest LNG powered vessel. POSCO stated in its report that the authorities have observed a significant reduction of the NOx and SOx emissions, by 99% and 85% respectively, when compared to the usual Heavy fuel oil emissions.

HL GREEN
HL GREEN – World’s First LNG Powered Bulk Carrier.

Why there is a need for Alternative Fuels?

Shipping is the largest and the oldest of the industries. About 90% of the world trade is being managed by the shipping industry. So, we need to think of the environmental impacts caused by the shipping industry. The Sulphur cap compliance passed by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) states that the fuels which are being used by the vessels for the main propulsion and various other operations should not contain sulphur content of more than 0.5%. Such actions are being taken to lower the rate of environmental degradation through maritime actions. The higher the sulphur content in the more is the emissions of the effluents which cause various pollutions namely air pollution, marine pollution and many more. The rate of SOx and NOx emissions would decrease if we use more clean or renewable fuels. Some of the alternative fuels for HFO are:

  1. LNG
  2. LPG
  3. Electricity    
  4. Nuclear fusion

Criteria for comparing Alternative Fuels:

  1. Calorific Value
  2. Emission of effluents
  3. Fuel Price
  4. Oxygen Content Rate
  5. Flashpoint
  6. Viscosity
Fig. 1 Shows the comparison of emissions between HFO and LPG.
Fig. 2 Shows the fuel prices of the various alternative fuels.

Note:-

  • For the period 2018-2019, H-Line Shipping has asked HSHI to build a total of four vessels of the same design in order to comply with IMO 2020 regulations and requirements. The HL Eco and HL Green are due to be delivered by the end of this month, the other two by the end of March 2022. The four ships will make ten round trips a year between Korea and Australia.
  • Korean shipbuilders have extensive experience in using dual-fuel engines powered by crude oil and LNG, and the latest engines have a 10% better fuel efficiency than LNG-powered ships. As with all LNG carriers, they have world-class design and construction technology for the fuel tanks. For the first time, POSCO-9 nickel steel was applied to the tanks. 

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