Bharati Shipyard to build first LNG fuelled vessel in India

Leading Offshore and Cargo Shipbuilding Company, Bharati Shipyard is on the verge of creating a record by developing the first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered vessel in the country.

“Today, we are in the design stage and will start constructing the vessels from mid 2009 and expect to deliver them by the second half of 2010,” said Sauvir Sarkar, president (design) of Bharati Shipyard. The company has already got orders for two Roll on-Roll off (Ro Ro) vessels from Norway-based Sea Cargo AS. The two vessels will be designed to use LNG as ship propulsion fuel and it would be the first vessels to be built in the world as per new IMO regulations of inherent gas safe concept. Each of the vessel is estimated to cost $40 million. Among other benefits, according to Mr Sarkar, the two big advantages to the owners would be reduction in fuel cost and substantially decreased emissions. Bunker costs, which remained at a steady $100 plus per metric tonnes between 2000 and 2005, have increased 6-fold until 3rd quarter 2008, hiking up the cost of operations for shipowners. On the pollution front, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has been tightening the levels of NOx and SOx emissions from ships and shipowners are made to opt for reducing emissions by means of low sulphur fuels, catalytic converters etc. In such a scenario, these ships are understood to provide the owners with maximum benefits in terms of environment, reduction in auxiliary machinery, engine room comfort and equipment maintenance.

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