Chinese shipbuilder Jiangnan Shipyard Co. has won Approval in Principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register (LR) for its Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) digital ship design, the first AiP for a digital VLGC design in China.  

LR said that digital systems are considered systems installed on board ships that would conventionally be controlled by the ship’s crew but which, through recent advances in IT and operational technology (OT), now include the capability to be monitored, or monitored and controlled, either remotely or autonomously with or without a crew on board. 

The design has been granted LR descriptive notes Digital SAFE (AL2), Digital MAINTAIN (AL2), Digital PERFORM (AL3) and Cyber SECURITY, confirming its compliance with LR’s digital ShipRight procedures.  

The digital VLGC has an integrated data acquisition and processing platform, equipped with a ship energy efficiency management system, an intelligent navigation system, and a monitoring system.

The system gives crew onboard and onshore personnel the data to make effective and safe operational and maintenance decisions. These are all tools that can help shipowners improve overall vessel performance in a safe manner, reduce energy consumption, and simplify ship management. 

The new ship design also offers an enhanced network security solution for the digital systems using a set of network security precautions developed following a risk assessment, which means the ship meets the requirements of advanced network security classification. 

“Jiangnan hopes that developing “digital” Very Large Gas Carrier can continue leading the state-of-art VLGC design and bring benefits to owners and the marine environment,” Jiangnan shipyard R&D Director, Chen Bing said. 

“ Jiangnan’s innovative approach has meant the industry has seen an improvement in ship designs for liquefied gas carriers, helping owners improve ship efficiency, safety and overall performance, while also embracing shipping’s long-term move towards a digitalised future,” LR’s greater China manager, Maogen Xue said. 

Jiangnan Shipyard began building VLGCs in 2012, and so far it has delivered more than 22 VLGCs among which 80% were classed by LR. The world’s first LPG powered VLGC is also developed by JN with the assistance of LR.

Last month, the shipyard won a contract for the construction of up to six 93,000 cbm LPG carriers with dual fuel LPG propulsion from Petredec Holdings.

The contract includes three firm very large gas carriers (VLGCs) and three options.

As informed, the initial firm three vessels are scheduled for delivery in January, March and May 2023 and the optional vessels within Q2 and Q3 2023.

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