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Samsung Heavy develops fuel cell-powered crude oil tankers

Samsung Heavy Industries has become the first shipbuilder to develop the world’s first fuel cell-powered aframax crude oil tankers in response to the International Maritime Organization regulations strictly limiting carbon dioxide emissions. 

Samsung Heavy Executive Vice President Jung Jin-taek (left) and DNV GL regional business development manager Lee Hwa-lyong (SHI)
Samsung Heavy Executive Vice President Jung Jin-taek (left) and DNV GL regional business development manager Lee Hwa-lyong (SHI)


Samsung Heavy said Thursday it acquired Approval in Principle, or AiP, by Oslo-based international accredited registrar and classification society DNV GL, for its fuel cell-powered aframax crude oil tanker. AiP is a process to verify technological features of basic marine designs.

The newly developed crude oil tankers are environmentally friendly by replacing oil-based power generators with solid oxide fuel cells using liquefied natural gas as fuel, the firm said.

According to Samsung Heavy, when fuel cells are applied to the tankers, which traditionally use 3-megawatt generator engines, greenhouse gas emissions decrease by more than 45 percent.

Aframax is a medium-sized crude tanker with a deadweight tonnage ranging between 80,000 and 120,000.

“As regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions take effect step by step, the introduction of fuel cells to vessels is inevitable. This approval and being the first shipbuilder to secure this marine fuel cell technology illustrates that Samsung Heavy is highly likely to lead the market,” said Kim Kyung-hee, vice president of Samsung Heavy. 

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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