Advanced green ship technology becomes winning strategy for Korean shipbuilders
Dual fuel engine has been the secret weapon behind South Korean shipbuilders’ red-hot winning streak in global ship orders and will likely feed their heyday for some time.
The bulk of new orders Korean shipbuilders brought home this year have been in multi-fuel capable of running on either bunker C oil or liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has clinched orders for 20 dual fuel vessels, which take up 80 percent of the new orders bagged so far this year. The shipbuilder has already achieved 33 percent of its annual target of $7.7 billion.
Dual fuel carriers also accounted for 40 percent, or 43 of new 107 ship orders for Korea and Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering and 36 percent for Samsung Heavy Industries.
“LNG-powered ships made up about 20 percent of the global order book, of which a majority sought dual fuel. The shift is exceptionally fast,” said Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering CEO Lee Sung-keun at the P4G Seoul Summit.
Ship owners are under pressure to shift to eco-friendly fuel-powered ships like LNG and LPG vessels as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandates cut in sea greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent by 2025 and 70 percent by 2050 compared with 2008 levels.
“Since a vessel has a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, the shipping industry is increasingly opting for dual fuel propulsion ships that emit 20 percent less carbon than bunker C oil-powered ones to meet the goal of achieving carbon net zero by 2050,” Lee explained.
Korean shipyards also offer ammonia-ready designs to add to their competitive edge.
Ammonia-ready ships are dual fuel vessels that are designed to be easily converted to run on ammonia once relevant technologies are fully developed.
Ammonia is a promising zero-carbon fuel that can help meet the IMO’s greenhouse gas reduction target for 2050. The industry forecasts that ammonia dual-fuel engine ships will be rolled out as early as in late 2024.