Evangelos Marinakis-led Capital Gas Ship Management is looking at larger liquefied CO2 carriers as the company tweaks the design of its on-order vessels with a plan to fit them with onboard carbon capture systems.

Capital Gas and HD Hyundai Heavy Industries announced they received approval in principle for a 40,000 cbm LCO2 carrier from classification society Lloyd’s Register.

The AiP is a result of a joint development project between the companies.

The project explored and established the operational profile of LCO2 carriers along with the design suitability and feasibility of vessels, LR said.

It added that the vessel has been designed to support the growing CO2 value chain with the growing importance of solutions such as carbon capture and storage to the energy transition and to meet net zero by 2050 targets.

Capital Gas technical director Alexandra Xystra said: “As the first to manage orders for these types of vessels, placed by independent owners, we are committed to continuing this innovative trajectory.

“We are actively exploring the potential for these technologies to support larger vessels in collaboration with our partners,” she added. “We expect the demand for such vessels to increase in the near future."

Separately, Capital Gas signed a letter of intent with technology provider Erma First and Babcock to install an onboard CCS system on its first four 22,000-cbm LCO2 carriers, which are on order at HD Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

The Erma First Carbon Fit system holds AiPs from class societies Lloyd’s Register and DNV.

It uses amine absorption technology to absorb CO2 from flue gas. The resultant mix is then heated to produce a chemical reaction that reverses the absorption, separating the CO2 from the solvent.

The released CO2 is then liquefied using Babcock’s LGE system and stored on board the ship in pressurised low-temperature storage for subsequent offloading. The regenerated solvent can be reused.

The LCO2 newbuildings are due for delivery in 2026 and represent the largest orders yet for this embryonic shipping sector.

Erma First Group co-founder & managing director Konstantinos Stampedakis said: “Under normal conditions, CCS systems are expected to cut vessel CO2 emissions by 15% to 30%. At this specific project, the CO2 capture rate will exceed 70%.

“This will play a significant role in helping Capital Gas to achieve its decarbonisation objectives but also to have the first almost carbon neutral vessels.”

Capital Gas is building four 22,000-cbm LCO2 carriers at HD Hyundai Mipo Dockyard. Photo: Capital Gas

Capital Gas managing director Miltos Zisis said his company became the world’s first ship manager to supervise the construction of LCO2 carriers. “Now, we are taking a step further,” he said. “Alongside our partners, we are developing advanced carbon capture technology to enhance the environmental sustainability of these ships.”

This week, DNV issued a white paper — The potential of onboard carbon capture in shipping.

DNV head of maritime R&D and advisory for Greece Chara Georgopoulou said the commercial attractiveness of onboard carbon capture will depend on the terms under which regulations can credit the removal of carbon emissions, and how smoothly it can be integrated into the growing CCUS [carbon capture utilisation and storage] value chain.

“For OCC to be relevant for wider application it must be economically viable and competitive with other decarbonisation alternatives,” Georgopoulou said. “If successfully deployed, OCC can become a key way for shipowners to comply with decarbonisation regulations, while also helping to reduce the demand for alternative fuels.”