World’s First High Manganese Steel LNG Fuel Tank Installed On Ultra-Large Crude Oil Carrier

Jointly developed with POSCO for 10 years, setting a milestone in eco-friendly LNG-powered ships for export to Korea, Kim Hak-dong set a milestone in the world’s first application of high manganese steel, developed after 10 years of joint research with LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) fuel tanks. LNG fuel tanks are the core equipment for eco-friendly fuel propulsion ships.

On the 16th, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) held a loading ceremony to install a high manganese steel LNG fuel tank on an ultra-large crude oil carrier in the presence of officials from both companies, including President Park Doo-sun and POSCO R&D Center Executive Vice President Choi Jong-gyo.

Until now, materials such as Invar (nickel alloy steel), aluminum, and stainless steel have been used for cargo holds and fuel tanks that can withstand the cryogenic temperature of -163°C. However, they had disadvantages such as high price, difficult work process, and low strength. This time, the onboard high manganese steel LNG fuel tank overcomes these shortcomings. The newly applied high manganese steel has a lower price than existing materials, and has high strength and wear resistance as well as performance at cryogenic temperatures.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME)
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and POSCO and POSCO have succeeded in R&D for over 10 years with a high manganese steel LNG fuel tank mounted on a ship. Image Credit: DSME

For this reason, high manganese steel has been attracting attention as a next-generation material for LNG fuel tanks. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and POSCO have jointly developed a tank manufacturing technology from pretreatment to welding to use high manganese steel as an LNG fuel tank. And finally, after mass production and processability verification, it was mounted on a real ship this time, and we saw the fruits of 10 years of joint effort. As a result, the two companies have established Korea’s own unique LNG fuel tank ecosystem centered on high manganese steel, thereby securing national competitiveness in fire management (materials, parts, and equipment).

Recently, as eco-friendly policies such as carbon dioxide reduction are being strengthened around the world, ships are also changing to use LNG as fuel. In such an environment, all ships that Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering won this year are eco-friendly ships that use LNG as fuel.

Officials of the two companies
Officials of the two companies are taking a commemorative photo at a ceremony to mount an LNG fuel tank made of high manganese steel at the Okpo Shipyard in Geoje on the 16th. Image Credit: DSME

In addition, the high manganese steel fuel tank manufacturing technology developed this time adds value in that it is a purely domestic technology. In the future, if price competitiveness is secured through mass production of high manganese steel, technological independence will be possible in the production of LNG cargo holds, which has been pointed out so far, and it is evaluated as a great stepping stone for strengthening the competitiveness of the Korean shipbuilding industry.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering President Park Doo-sun, who attended the event, said, “Our company, which boasts the world’s most competitive edge as a renowned LNG carrier, has set another milestone. As it is a technology, we will lead to strengthening the competitiveness of the entire Korean shipbuilding industry.”

Choi Jong-gyo, Executive Vice President of POSCO Research Institute, said, “The successful mass-production of high-manganese steel, a unique Korean material, to global LNG-powered ships is overwhelming. I believe that it will play a big role in the future eco-friendly ship market.”

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