LPG Reformed Gas Fueled Carrier Design Gets ClassNK Approval

By Jack Burke13 March 2020

Classification Society ClassNK granted an Approval in Principle (AiP) to Daihatsu Diesel for its concept design of a liquefied natural gas (LPG) reformed gas fueled coastal LPG carrier.

The carrier was developed in cooperation with Iino Gas Transport, Osaka Gas, Izumi Steel Works, and Miura Shipbuilding in terms of safety assessments.

The vessel is designed to be equipped with an LPG reformer developed jointly by Daihatsu Diesel and Osaka Gas, and a dual fuel engine developed by Daihatsu Diesel. The LPG Reformer is designed to convert LPG into synthetic methane gas equivalent to the kind found in LNG. Because it is mainly composed of propane and butane, LPG is susceptible to knocking (abnormal combustion), making it difficult to use as a fuel for lean burn gas engines and dual fuel engines. In contrast, by converting LPG into synthetic methane gas with the LPG Reformer prior to fueling the engine, the risks of knocking can be restrained, which is expected to have an equivalent operational performance observed when using LNG, the companies said.
“We have cautiously confirmed the design’s safety and are proud to be involved with this project,” said ClassNK Senior Executive Vice President T. Shigemi. “LPG is starting to become an option in the maritime industry and we have high expectations for the possible benefits that its use may bring in terms of environmental safety and efficiency.”

“We have developed dual-fuel engines from the viewpoint of global warming prevention, and this LPG reformer will provide more options for customers,” said Daihatsu Diesel President S. Kinoshita. “We would like to make further efforts toward a zero-carbon society. I thank ClassNK and our partners for their efforts and cooperation in making the concept design and safety assessment.”

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