South Korean Shipyards Advance Designs for LCO2 Carriers

LCO2 carrier design
South Korean shipyards look to use their experience with other gas carriers to develop the LCO2 sector (file photo)

Published Sep 5, 2022 12:17 PM by The Maritime Executive

The competition continues to develop the designs for the first large-scale liquefied CO2 carriers which will play a critical role in the efforts to transport and store carbon captured by large manufacturers. Using their experience with other gas carriers, the Korean shipyards continue to make progress with both Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries reporting design approvals on their efforts from the major classification societies.

At 785 feet in length and with a 98-foot beam, Hyundai Heavy Industries’ LCO2 carrier design is being called the largest in its class. A first-of-its-kind design, it is reported to be the world’s first 40,000m3 liquefied carbon dioxide carrier. 

Several shipyards have been working to enlarge the size of LCO2 carriers to provide the economic basis for the transportation and storage of LCO2. Currently, the shipment of CO2 is largely a niche business supporting uses in food and other manufacturing but analysts have said the vessels need to increase in size and capacity to justify the proposed carbon capture and storage schemes.

Lloyd’s Register reviewed the design for HHI’s vessel and awarded design approval to the South Korean shipbuilder.  LR reports the vessel will be equipped with seven IMO Type C cargo tanks that use an innovative new steel design, that allows tanks to be constructed with lighter scantling whilst remaining structural integrity. The use of this advanced material permitted HHI to achieve a higher capacity. When built, the carrier will transport liquefied carbon dioxide under pressure, allowing carbon extracted from the atmosphere to be transported to storage facilities.

“This carrier will be a key piece of infrastructure in the carbon capture and storage value chain, helping the maritime industry drive forward its energy efficiency and decarbonization ambitions," predicts Andy McKeran, Chief Commercial Officer for Lloyd’s Register.

At the same time today at another presentation also at the Gastech 2022 Exhibition in Milan, Samsung Heavy Industries received design approval for its new LCO2 carrier design from DNV. According to the class society’s review of the design, the innovation incorporates customized large cargo tanks (pressurized IMO Type-C) and a reliable cargo handling system with highly efficient reliquefication technology. The ship has optimized cargo space and ship performance by utilizing customized bi-lobe cargo tanks. It also features a re-liquefaction system that condenses vaporized and compressed CO2 by a refrigeration process. Once expanded, the CO2 is cooled and returned to the LCO2 tanks.

According to the companies, SHI’s new system is expected to help the shipping industry be ready for future large-scale CO2 transportation demands as increasing numbers of carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects evolve.