A “ballast-water-free” liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker and feeder vessel concept from GTT and Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group Co. (HZ) has received approval in principle (AIP) from the classification societies China Classification Society (CCS) and DNV.

The AiPs recognize the compliance of the vessel design with the rules and codes relating to ocean-going vessels, their construction and equipment.

According to GTT, the “ballast-water-free” design fitted with its membrane system enables the construction of more economical and environmentally friendly vessels.

With no ballast water on board, the design completely eliminates any risk of transferring harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens from one area to another. In addition, removing the ballast water treatment system reduces the energy consumption and CO2 footprint of the vessels.

A ballast-free vessel also offers advantages in terms of investment and operational cost, simplification of vessel operation, reduction of corrosion and prolongation of lifetime. An extensive test campaign in the hull test tank has demonstrated the good sailing and seakeeping capabilities of the design, GTT said.

Philippe Berterottière, chairman and CEO of GTT, said, “This major technological innovation to improve both the environmental and economic performance of LNG Bunker & Feeder vessel has been made possible thanks to the support of our partner Hudong Zhonghua. We welcome the approvals of CCS and DNV, which allow us to offer our ship-owners and charterers customers a high-value technology solution. GTT once again demonstrates its ability to innovate in order to make vessels ever more environmentally friendly and in line with the environmental guidelines of the maritime industry.”

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