DNV has granted an approval in principle for the design of what it said would be the largest LNG carrier in the world.

The classification society presented the AiP to shipbuilding company Hudong-Zhonghua during the Gastech energy conference in Singapore.

The design for the 271,000-cubic metre LNG carrier is part of a joint development project between both organisations.

DNV said the carriers such as this would offer shipowners and innovative, economical and efficient way to transport LNG.

Martin Cartwright, DNV’s global business director – gas carriers and FSRU, said DNV full supports customers in what it described as a highly competitive segment.

“The AiP represents Hudong-Zhonghua’s ability to create a cutting-edge design for the largest LNG carriers,” Mr Cartwright said.

DNV regional manager Norbert Kray said LNG is becoming more important as an energy source as the industry looks to improve air quality and lower carbon emissions.

“DNV has been one of the leaders in maritime LNG technology for years, and I am delighted about our involvement in such an innovative project,” Mr Kray said.

“With our global expertise and established Gas Carriers and Alternative Fuels expert team in China, we will continue to deepen our partnerships in China to help transition the maritime industry to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

The LNG carrier is designed to be 344 metres long, with a breadth (moulded) of 53.6 metres and with five cargo tanks.

It is also designed to include energy saving systems such as an air lubrication system and shaft generator, a cargo tank design with sloshing monitoring and an advanced anti-collision system.

DNV said that, despite the size, the vessel would be able to berth at more than 70 LNG terminals along the main trade route.