LNG technology development consortium Forward Maritime Group has signed a Letter of Intent for 20 LNG-fuelled bulker vessels.
The advanced forward bulker 84-LNG bulk carriers will be constructed by Singapore-listed shipbuilder Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and are scheduled for delivery.
“When delivered, these vessels will be trading under the Forward Ships brand,” a spokesperson for Forward Maritime said.
The LNG-focused brand is part of the Project Forward initiative which is a Joint Development Project (JDP) formed and led by Greek-based transport firm Arista Shipping.
The consortium aims to build and promote ‘commercially feasible’ LNG-powered dry bulk carriers in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Energy Efficiency Design Index 2025 standards.
Partners in the ambitious LNG project include ship classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), energy firm Shell, fuel supplier Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT), engine developer Wärtsilä and naval architect Deltamarin
Kamsarmax design to reduce sea transport costs
The partnership foresees the Kamsarmax size bulk carrier design acting as major driver for change to combat global ship emissions through reduction in cost of transportation at sea, modernization of the shipping industry, and definition of new standards for vessel operation.
“Project Forward aims to become a milestone for the shipping industry and in particular for owners and operators of cargo ships. Owners must decide within the next 5-10 years whether gas as fuel is a practical means of compliance with lower emissions standards and this project will enable all of us to understand its feasibility,” Alexander P. Panagopulos, principal of Arista Shipping, said.
Further research to explore long range bunker options
Last year, Shell partnered with Project Forward to launch a research study of bunkering opportunities for LNG-fuelled ships with long sailing ranges. The analysis will study the supply of globally-trading bulk carriers, tankers and container vessels.
“Merchant shipping is under increase pressure of tight emissions regulations from a range of sources and this will continue in future. LNG as a marine fuel, is a cleaner burning fuel for shipping. It can help ship owners and operators to reduce sulphur emissions, particulates and nitrogen oxides,” Panagopulos, added.