DNV has issued shipbuilding conglomerate HD Hyundai with a general approval for ship application (GASA) for what it has labelled a “world-first” support system for independent tanks on liquefied gas carriers.

HD Hyundai’s concept is for a new, high-strength composite hybrid support system to help independent tanks withstand upward force from flotation, in case the hold space is flooded.

The system is fabricated with a fusion of carbon fibre-reinforced plastics with a tensile strength ten times greater than steel, which DNV expects to significantly enhance structural stability.

Lee Hyun-Ho, executive vice president of the Hyundai Maritime Research Institute at HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, said DNV’s approval was the result of efforts to apply composites to shipbuilding.

“It is expected to contribute to the competitiveness and safety of vessels with independent tanks and generate more orders as the design can be easily constructed,” he said.

Vidar Dolonen, DNV regional manager Korea and Japan, said DNV was pleased to support forward looking partners like HD Hyundai on the project.

“The use of new materials in this concept shows how continuous technological innovation in the maritime sector can enhance shipping’s drive to be even more efficient, improve safety, and enhance the structural stability of vessels.”

The system was designed jointly by Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hyundai Mipo dockyard, and approved by DNV and the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR).