DSME: a beacon in innovative LNG shipbuilding technologies


Odin Kwon, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) discusses the company’s pioneering role in LNG shipbuilding with Carlos Guerrero, Bureau Veritas’ Global Market Leader for Tankers and Gas Carriers.

CG: Can you tell us about the liquefied natural gas market (LNG) market in South Korea, and how you see it developing?

: South Korea was an early adopter of LNG; as of today, it is the world’s third-largest LNG importer after China and Japan. 
Looking forward, there are a number of factors positively impacting the LNG market: the price has been steadily decreasing, and new environmental regulations such as IMO’s greenhouse emissions reduction target are coming into play. Many shipowners need to switch to cleaner fuels, and LNG is seen as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

Given these circumstances, I expect to see trade volumes increase, which will further drive demand for LNG carriers. DSME will have an important role to play in this, thanks to our extensive experience building LNG carriers and our expertise in the construction of large ships.

CG: What LNG projects has DSME worked on to help meet market demand?

: DSME has long been at the forefront of innovation in LNG-related technologies, with a particular interest in fuel gas supply systems. We built the first-ever membrane LNG carrier in South Korea in 1995, and have continued to increase our expertise ever since.

In 2017, we delivered the largest FSRU ever built, the 263,000 m3MOL FSRU Challenger, a Bureau Veritas-classed LNG carrier. In 2018, we worked again for Mitsui O.S.K. Lines on our first-ever LNG carrier equipped with a full reliquefication system, the 180,000-m3LNG Schneeweisschen. The vessel also boasts dual-fuel, two-stroke X-DF engines, developed by Winterthur Gas & Diesel.

CG: How do these projects fit into the bigger picture of LNG growth in South Korea?

: These projects come at a time when we are all more aware than ever of the need to protect the environment. The Korean government, for example, has started replacing all official ships powered by conventional marine fuel with LNG-powered vessels, and strides are being made with LNG bunkering vessels. As a result, we expect to receive more and more interest in the advanced technology at the heart of our business.     

CG: What does the future hold for your collaboration with Bureau Veritas?

: Bureau Veritas is a trusted partner for DSME, and we appreciate their support, particularly when it comes to our work in the gas industry. In addition to the MOL FSRU Challenger, DSME’s first liquefied petroleum gas carrier was classed by their expert teams. We developed the world’s first LNG regasification vessel with their support and classification services, and the world’s large icebreaking LNG carriers are also the result of our partnership with Bureau Veritas. We intend to continue reaping the benefits of their expertise and experience in our future projects.

Photo Credit: DSME