April 3, 2008 marked another milestone in the rapid development of Chinese shipbuilding capacity. At separate ceremonies, two of the nation's shipbuilders delivered the first LNG carrier to be built in China and the largest containership to emerge from a Chinese shipyard.
Both of these shipbuilding projects were completed to ABS class standards. Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard delivered the 147,000 cubic metre LNG carrier 'Dapeng Sun' to China LNG Shipping (International) for service between Australia's North West Shelf and China's first LNG receiving terminal in Guangdong Province.
It is the first of a five ship series that are being dual classed by ABS and China Classification Society (CCS). The keel laying for the first ship took place in June 2005, and construction is already nearing completion on the second in the series, the 'Dapeng Moon', scheduled for delivery in late-June, with the fifth and final ship expected to be handed over one year later in June 2009.
"LNG carriers are one of the most sophisticated vessel types for a shipyard to produce," noted ABS Pacific Division President Jim Liebertz at the delivery. "This is a really remarkable achievement for a relatively new shipbuilder to take on such a project and develop the infrastructure and skills to deliver this ship in such a short time frame."
To assist the yard, ABS assigned a team of surveyors to the project with many years of experience in LNG construction and in particular with the GTT NO96 membrane containment system.
"An LNG project is quite different from standard tanker and bulk carrier construction," Liebertz added. "It is a real credit to everyone that has been involved in this project that it has gone as smoothly as it has and we are very proud of the finished product."
ABS is currently the only class society with LNG carriers building to its standards in China, Korea and Japan.
"The first ship converted to carry liquid gas was ABS-classed," said Liebertz. "The first purpose designed and built LNG carrier was to ABS class. ABS is the only society to have classed LNG carriers with all of the different containment systems that are currently on offer. It is only appropriate that this historic vessel has also been delivered to ABS standards."
The second milestone occurred at the Nantong COSCO KHI Shipyard (NACKS) with the delivery of the 10,000TEU 'COSCO Oceania' to COSCO Container Lines. This is the largest containership to have been built in China and is the first of a four ship series from the yard.
"COSCO is a long standing client and we are honored to have been selected to class this historic series of ultra large containerships for them," said ABS Senior Vice President for China and the Central Pacific Region, Kingsley Koo.
"No other classification society has the same degree of experience with classing ultra large containerships as does ABS," he noted, referring to the fleet of ABS-classed 11,000TEU vessels already in service for AP Moller. The COSCO project was tightly planned and coordinated with the keel laying taking place in early September 2007.
"A schedule that took less than seven months from keel laying to delivery for a ship of this size and complexity is a real testament to the capabilities of the large, experienced Chinese shipyards," Koo added. "ABS was proud to be part of the team that helped make this happen."