ECO-Ship 2020: The bulk carrier of the future

By Alexander Wardwell, DNV

Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and DNV are pleased to announce the completion of the first milestone of a joint programme to develop the ECO-Ship 2020, a concept design for an open hatch bulk carrier (OHBC) developed to significantly lower fuel costs, meet or exceed regulatory standards and improve commercial performance.

The ECO-Ship 2020 is an energy-efficient and cost-effective concept design developed to help owners and operators improve commercial performance while lowering fuel costs. The LNG-fuelled open hatch bulk carrier concept features a number of innovative solutions, including a wide twin skeg hull, Oshima’s Seaworthy bow, air lubrication system, lean-burn four stroke medium speed gas engines and a flexible propulsion and power generation system with shaft generator/motor (PTO/PTI).

The concept also features a waste-heat recovery system that can feed electric power into the PTI to be used as a supplement to ship propulsion power, representing about 5% fuel savings at normal cruising speeds. The ECO-Ship is outfitted with four large capacity electric jib cranes and hatch covers made of a composite material that weighs about 50% less than traditional steel covers. The vessel has been specifically designed to be fully compliant with future IMO, ECA and Tier III emmission requirements, emitting about 50% less CO2 than typical existing OHBCs. A significant part of the reduction is due to the highly efficient propulsion system running on LNG.

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Wants to be first out

Oshima’s president Hiroshi Minami says that the company is committed to helping customers improve environmental and commercial performance. “Our objective is to be the first shipyard to deliver an LNG-powered bulk carrier,” he says. “To achieve our goal, we worked closely with DNV and other suppliers to develop a viable design concept. We are confident the results will exceed expectations.”

According to Adam Larsson, project manager for DNV, the project involved valuable input from Rolls-Royce Marine on LNG, machinery and propulsion solutions, while Kockums and FiReCo helped develop composite GRP solutions. “ECO-Ship is an innovative concept, but every feature is based on existing or emerging technologies,” he says. “And as one of the world’s leading yards for bulk carriers, Oshima’s commitment to more environmental-friendly shipping represents a clear sign that the industry is getting serious about LNG-fuelled shipping.”

Larsson notes that the ECO-Ship’s design is not only innovative but practical. “Rising demand for more fuel efficient ships combined with new technologies and Oshima’s shipbuilding expertise, will help to turn the ECO-Ship from a concept to a reality,” he says. “For any owner interested in saving on fuel costs, reducing emissions and staying ahead of new regulations, the ECO-Ship is the answer.”

Via DNV