DNV GL: Safety Key for New Methanol-driven Tankers

Thursday January 23, 2014

DNV GL says the first four vessels being built with the ability to operate on methanol, among other fuels, will use the classification society's rules for low flashpoint fuels to ensure their safety.

"Some important safety measures that will be incorporated into these vessels relate to the location of tanks and piping to prevent energy impact from sources such as grounding or cargo operations, a full secondary fuel containment system, leakage detection, automatic shutdown functions and ignition prevention," said Håkon Skaret, DNV GL business director for tankers.

"The safety philosophy is similar to that of gas-fuelled ships."

The four 50,000 deadweight tonne (dwt) vessels, ordered by Marinvest and Westfal-Larsen, will use MAN B&W ME-LGI 2-stroke diesel dual fuel engines.

Methanol, which has a flashpoint of about 12 degrees Celsius, is attracting interest as a ship fuel because it does not contain sulfur, allowing ships operating on it to meet 0.1 percent sulfur oxide (SOX) emission rules for Emission Control Areas (ECAs).

DNV developed rules for low-flashpoint fuels last year before the completion of its merger with Germanischer Lloyd (GL).

The head of Waterfront Shipping, which is working with Marinvest and Westfal-Larsen on the deal, has said the fuel prices and regulations are pushing the industry toward methanol fuel as a "promising alternative."