Korean shipper, shipyard embark on ballast-free container carrier development
The Korean Register (KR) joined forces with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. and Korea Marine Transport Co. to apply the ballast-free concept to 1,800 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container vessels to fight water pollution.
According the Korean Register on Monday, the three parties signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint development project for 1,800 TEU container vessels featuring a low-ballast or ballast-free.
Ballast water, held in tanks and cargo, holds of ships to increase stability and maneuverability during transit. It is essential in reducing stress on the hull but emits discharges containing a variety of biological materials that can cause extensive ecological and economic damages to aquatic ecosystems along with human health issues.
Under the partnership, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard will be in charge of basic vessel designs in need of minimal use of ballast water or none. The Korean Register will assess the safety, adequacy and validity to give a license to the new design after the co-development aiming to finish in the fourth quarter of the year.
Korea Marine Transport will support the comparative study on the transport capability and operation efficiency.
The new vessel design will be developed, considering the actual course and the speed of vessels and destinations, the Korean Register said.
“With the joint development, we’ll have the technology to minimize the use of ballast water threatening the world’s coastal and marine environments in a preemptive measure to stricter environmental regulations. This will further help domestic shipbuilding and marine companies raise their market competitiveness,” said an official from the Korean Register.
Nam Young-jun, senior executive of Hyundai Mipo Dockyard also welcomed the partnership, saying “Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, based on experience of successful delivery of the world’s first ballast-free liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessel to Germany’s Bernhard Schulte, will go all out to apply the ballast-free concept to smaller container ships to cement its lead in the eco-friendly vessel market.”