VESSEL REVIEW | Blue Whale – LNG bunkering ship to serve South Korean market
South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has completed construction of a new LNG bunkering vessel that will serve customers in the South Korean shipping market.
The Liberian-flagged Blue Whale is notable for being the first LNG bunkering vessel to be built in South Korea. It has an LOA of 97 metres, a beam of 22 metres, a draught of 6.3 metres, a gross tonnage of 9,200, and a summer deadweight of 5,300.
According to the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) the ship’s LNG cargo tank capacity is 7,500 cubic metres. The fuel cargo can be supplied directly via ship-to-ship transfer to LNG-powered vessels, hence eliminating the need for these vessels to return to port for bunkering via tank lorry.
MOTIE said Blue Whale is also the first ship to be fitted with the KC-2 type of indigenously developed, LNG-suitable cargo tank, which was designed to reduce reliance on similar tank technology from overseas. In addition to providing bunkering support, the vessel will also help in determining the KC-2 system’s viability for more widespread domestic commercial use.
Blue Whale will be operated by Hyundai LNG Shipping. The vessel will initially undergo additional tests before commencing operational sailings and LNG bunkering of other ships.
|Type of vessel:||Bunkering vessel|
|Operator:||Hyundai LNG Shipping, South Korea|
|Builder:||Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea|
|Length overall:||97 metres|
|Capacity:||7,500 cubic metres|
|Operational area:||South Korea|