10 Major “World’s First” Vessels Announced in 2014

In the year 2014, there were some great ship designs/ concepts and maritime projects launched in the maritime industry.

The industry also saw launching of several ground-breaking and “world’s first” vessels/projects announced around the world.

As the year 2014 comes to an end, let’s take a look at some of the most noteworthy ones that caught industry’s attention.

1. World’s First CNG Carrier

CNG Carrier

In October, 2014, Hantong signed shipbuilding contract with CIMC ENRIC SJZ GAS for building the world’s first CNG carrier which will be operated by Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PT PLN), Indonesian National Electric Company, to be used for natural gas transportation between the islands of Indonesia. The vessel is designed by CIMC ORIC, using natural gas as power, driven by dual fuel main engine, with 110-meter length over all and 14-knots design speed. It will be designed and constructed under the classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and PT. It is expected to be delivered in May 2016. Read more here.

2. World’s First LNG Bunkering Vessel

LNG Bunkering Vessel

In July 2014, NYK signed a contract with Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd. in Korea to build the world’s first LNG bunkering vessel for the purpose of providing LNG to LNG-fueled vessels.The vessel will be delivered in 2016, and will be based at the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium. The vessel will deliver LNG to LNG-fueled vessels operating mainly in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Read more here.

3. World’s First Gas Powered Car Carrier 

Gas Powered Car Carrier 

In November 2014, United European Car Carriers (UECC) signed a contract for the construction of two LNG-powered Pure Car/Truck Carriers (PCTCs). They represent the first such vessels globally to be fitted with an LNG propulsion system. When in service, they will be capable of completing a fourteen-day round trip in the Baltic operating solely on LNG, including main engine and auxiliary power generation. A single MAN B&W 8S50ME-GI dual-fuel engine will power each newbuilding. Read more here.

4. World’s First Methanol Ship 

World's First Methanol Ship 
Image for representation purpose only

In November 2014, Sweden-based ferry company Stena Line announced that it will convert its vessel Stena Germanica to methanol propulsion, making it the world’s first methanol vessel. The 240m-long ferry will be converted to run on methanol at a cost of EUR22m ($27.5m), the first such conversion of its type. The 1,500-passenger ferry Stena Germanica will be the world’s first ship powered by methanol. Read more here.

5. World’s First LNG Powered Harbour Tug

World's First LNG Powered Harbour Tug
Image for representation purpose only

Drydocks World and Dubai Maritime City (DMC) entered into Memoranda of Understanding with Wartsila and Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence for building the world’s first LNG powered harbor tug. This project launched under the trade mark “Elemarateyah” is part of the Dubai Maritime Green Initiative, a strategic movement to encourage all-round environmental excellence in maritime and allied sectors including oil, gas and energy. This landmark undertaking in which the tug will have a dual engine capable of operating with both traditional MDO & LNG, will represent a major breakthrough that would decide the future of green technology. Read more here.

6. World’s First LNG Fuelled Drill Ship 

drill ship
Image for representation purpose only

ABS, the leading provider of classification services to the global offshore industry, entered into a joint development project (JDP) with South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in July, 2014 to develop the industry’s first LNG fueled drillship. Read more here. 

7. World’s First RSD CNG Tug


Damen Shipyards of the Netherlands, German engine manufacturer MTU Friedrichshafen, and Denmark’s SVITZER embarked on the pioneering project of officially launching of the new eco-friendly tug planned for 2016. The new RSD CNG tug combines high power with lower fuel costs and a substantial reduction in emissions. The first ever Reverse Stern Drive (RSD) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) tug is being developed by MTU and is based on its proven workboat Series 4000 M63 diesel engine. Read more here.

8. World’s First High Speed LNG Fuelled Ropax Ferry 

Ropax Ferry 

A new passenger ferry being built for Swedish operator Rederi AB Gotland will be fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and will feature a Wärtsilä integrated solution. The Wärtsilä integrated solution includes a complete LNG powered propulsion- and fuel storage and supply system, as well as comprehensive project services.This will be the first Swedish flagged LNG powered passenger vessel and the first LNG fuelled high speed RoPax ferry in the world. The vessel is being built at the Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) yard in China and when delivered, will sail between the Swedish mainland and the island of Gotland. Read more here.

9. World’s First Ethane Fuelled Eco-Friendly LEG Carrier 

Eco-Friendly LEG Carrier

In co-operation with engineering consultants HB Hunte Engineering, Hartmann Reederei of Leer announced a unique, new type of vessel: Ethylene Carrier ECO STAR 36K with “Svelte”-bow design. The new vessel type differs fundamentally from conventional gas carriers: As the first of its kind, its superstructures will be located at the bow. This results in optimized distribution of weight and, therefore, a reduced demand for ballast water − which again leads to reduced fuel consumption and emissions at the same time. The new “Svelte” bow design enables the vessel to improve sea keeping at higher transit speeds and improved fuel efficiency. Read more here.

10. World’s First LNG Powered Icebreaker 

LNG Powered Icebreaker 

A new icebreaker being built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard for the Finnish Transport Agency will be powered by Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines capable of operating on both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and low sulphur diesel fuel. When launched in late 2015, it will be the first LNG-powered icebreaker in the world.

Do you know any other “World’s First” that was announced this year and which can be added to the list?

Let’s know in the comments below.

You may also like to read –  10 Amazing “World’s First” Maritime Vessels Under Development

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