DSME picks up design approval for LNG cargo containment system

Second from right: DSME chief technology officer Kwon Oh-yig; Third from right: VP for the Southwest Europe and North America BV Bruno Dabouis – Image courtesy of DSME

South Korea’s shipbuilding giant Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has obtained a design approval from Bureau Veritas (BV) for its LNG cargo containment system.

French-based classification society BV is the fifth agency to approve DSME’s Solidus LNG cargo containment system following approvals from Lloyd’s Register, ABS, DNV GL, and Korean Register since developing the technology in 2017.

DSME said on Thursday it was hoping the technology could free it from the hefty royalty fees it has been paying to French LNG containment specialist GTT.

The Korean shipbuilders needs to pay five percent of the cost of each LNG carrier it builds to GTT as the French company owns the original technology for the LNG containment system used on the carriers.

According to Korean local media outlet JoonGang Daily, the royalty paid per ship amounts to roughly 10 billion won ($8.37 million).

Solidus uses two metal barriers to prevent LNG leakage. It also uses insulating material developed in cooperation with German chemical company BASF to reduce boil-off gas.

Hyundai Heavy Industries also announced its LNG containment system named HiMEX, which earned general approval from Lloyd’s Register. It is the first approval the shipbuilder received for its containment system which would complete testing by 2020.

Korea’s three major shipbuilders – Hyundai, Samsung, and DSME – previously attempted to develop a Korean LNG containment system through a Korea Gas-led project.

The KC-1 containment system was rolled out in 2014 after 10 years of research and development, but the first two ships with those systems experienced faults including gas leakage.

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