LR awards Approval in Principle to Jiangnan for its VLGC digital ship design

11 Dec 2020

Jiangnan’s new digital VLGC design aims to improve ship performance safety, reduce energy consumption and simplify ship management.

Jiangnan Shipyard Co. Ltd has received Approval in Principle (AiP) from Lloyd’s Register (LR) for its Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) digital ship design, the first AiP for a digital VLGC design in China.

The design has been granted LR descriptive notes ‘Digital SAFE (AL2)’, ‘Digital MAINTAIN (AL2)’, ‘Digital PERFORM (AL3)’ and ‘Cyber SECURITY’, confirming its compliance with LR’s digital ShipRight procedures.

The digital VLGC has an integrated data acquisition and processing platform, equipped with a ship energy efficiency management system, an intelligent navigation system, and a monitoring system which gives crew onboard and onshore personnel the data to make effective and safe operational and maintenance decisions.

These are all tools which can help shipowners improve overall vessel performance in a safe manner, reduce energy consumption and simplify ship management.

The new ship design also offers an enhanced network security solution for the digital systems using a set of network security precautions developed following a risk assessment, which means the ship meets the requirements of advanced network security classification.

Jiangnan shipyard R&D Director, Chen Bing said “Jiangnan hope that developing “digital” Very Large Gas Carrier can continue leading the state-of-art VLGC design and bring benefits to owners and the marine environment.”

LR’s greater China manager, Maogen Xue said “We are delighted to provide Approval in Principle to Jiangnan for its Very Large Gas Carrier digital ship design, a first of its kind for China. Jiangnan’s innovative approach has meant the industry has seen an improvement in ship designs for liquefied gas carriers, helping owners improve ship efficiency, safety and overall performance, while also embracing shipping’s long-term move towards a digitalised future.”

This announcement is underpinned by LR’s digital strategy that is focused on delivering tangible benefits to our customers and partners, helping them to drive business outcomes through the safe and appropriate adoption of new technologies. Our digital class services make it easier for our clients to achieve compliance by leveraging digital technologies to classify their assets. This means safety compliance can be delivered in a more cost-efficient way. Our pathway aligns with what matters most to customers, in line with what technical solutions are right: we’ll take a customer led approach.



For LR, digital systems are considered systems installed on board ships that would conventionally be controlled by the ship’s crew but which, through recent advances in IT and operational technology (OT), now include the capability to be monitored, or monitored and controlled, either remotely or autonomously with or without a crew on board the ship.

LR reviewed Jiangnan’s digital VLGC ship design and awarded AiP in accordance with LR’s digital ShipRight procedures for the ‘assignment of digital descriptive notes for autonomous and remote access ships’, which defines an Accessibility Level (AL) to a digital system, and the ‘assessment of cyber security for ships and ships systems.’

Notations granted to the digital VLGC design include Digital SAFE (AL2) which indicates that the ship’s essential operating systems, such as navigation, that have remote access to on-board operational data for monitoring purposes have been assessed and can be performed remotely by humans or autonomously by systems located on board the ship or located ashore.

Other notations include: Digital MAINTAIN (AL2), which focuses on maintenance systems, Digital PERFORM (AL3), which looks at the vessel’s overall performance, specifically the ship’s optimisation systems, and Cyber SECURITY.

Lloyd's Register press release