Advancements in Dry Bulk Carrier Designs

dry bulk carrier design methanol
Emerald Putuo is a new class of economical Kamsamax bulker built in China (CSSC)

Published Jan 18, 2022 6:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

The dry bulk carrier, while recognized as one of the workhorse classes of the shipping industry, is rarely singled out for design. As one of the most prolific classes of ships, they generally use a standard, basic design, although China, which is one of the largest builders of the ships, is reported a number of new design developments.

As of the start of 2022, China State Shipbuilding is reporting that it has begun the delivery of a new efficient class of bulkers. The first vessel, the Emerald Putuo, was recently delivered while seven others for the class had already been ordered and are under construction. At the same time, the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI), working with SDTR Marine, and ABS in a joint development project has completed designs for a methanol-fueled bulk carrier.

The 85,000 dwt Emerald Putuo was delivered a week ago to China’s Zhejian Xinythal Shipping and is the first of a new, more versatile class of bulkers. According to CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding that built the vessel, it combines world-class technology and eco-friendly equipment to be an economical to operate vessel. It combines a low fuel consumption with a relatively high speed for bulkers and a large carrying capacity.

The bulker, which is 751 feet long with a 118-foot beam, features a cargo capacity of 106,000 cubic meters. It can operate at a cruising speed of 14 knots and because of the versatility of the design is well suited for most of the world’s long-distance trade routes. It can carry coal, ore, grain, or cement. 

CSSC is also highlighting that it was able to build the vessel in just nine months through the use of smart welding robots, digitalization, and other advanced shipbuilding technologies. The Emerald Putuo, which is registered in Liberia, has been chartered to a U.S.-based company and will be transporting soybean, corn, and other grain products.

Methanol-Fueled Bulker

SDARI working with the same basic dimensions of a Kamsarmax bulker, developed designs using operational data from SDTR for the eco-friendly bulker of the future. SDARI has developed a series of new energy fuel solutions for bulk carriers, including one that would use methanol for its propulsion fuel. According to Wang GangYi, Chief Engineer of SDARI, “The advantages of methanol are mainly reflected in the lower transformation cost, and through the ratio of gray methanol and green methanol, it can meet the requirements of GHG emission reduction in 2050.”

ABS provided an analysis of methanol as fuel market outlook, including a vessel performance evaluation in various operating scenarios and under the European Union Emissions Trading System (Fuel EU, ETS) to support the project. 

The joint development of the methanol-fueled 85,000 dwt bulker is seen as an important step for both SDTR and the industry in achieving a zero-carbon fleet in the future.