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Fierce! Han Hua Marine High Manganese Steel LNG Storage Tank Container Ship Received "Presidential A

18 ships have been delivered and 18 are under construction. Hanhua Ocean (formerly Daewoo Shipbuilding) is enhancing the competitiveness of the South Korean shipbuilding industry through the use of high manganese steel LNG fuel tank ships.

According to industry insiders in South Korea, the "LNG dual fuel powered 24000TEU container ship equipped with high manganese steel fuel tanks" built by Han Hua Ocean has won the highest award of the "Presidential Award" at the 2023 Republic of Korea Industrial Technology R&D Awards. This is also the second consecutive year that Han Hua Ocean's ship products have won the "President Award" in South Korea. Last year, the company independently designed and built the first 3000 ton diesel electric ballistic missile submarine of the South Korean Navy, the "Shimoyama An Changhao", which was awarded the "President Award" at the "2022 Korea Industrial Technology R&D Award" ceremony.

The "Republic of Korea Technology Award" is sponsored by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Resources of South Korea, and organized by the Korea Industry Technology Evaluation and Management Institute (KEIT) and others. It is an annual award that selects outstanding technology achievements and has a huge impact on the Korean industry from products developed and successfully commercialized in South Korea.

Industry insiders in South Korea say that Hanhua Ocean has once again won the "Presidential Award" because the materials, design, and production technology of the high manganese steel LNG fuel tank jointly developed by the company and POSCO have been domestically produced, and its performance is excellent. This is the result of Han Hua Ocean's decisive investment in research and development in order to maintain the world's highest level of technological strength.

Large LNG fuel storage tanks are the core equipment of environmentally friendly fuel powered ships and the entire LNG industry chain. The technical standards are extremely strict and the cost is expensive, accounting for about 30% of the entire power system price of LNG ships. LNG is usually stored and transported under ultra-low temperature conditions of minus 163 ℃. Previously, nickel alloy steel (9% Ni), aluminum alloy, stainless steel, etc. were mainly used as the main materials for LNG cargo holds and fuel storage tanks.

Among them, 9% nickel steel is currently the most commonly used steel in LNG tank manufacturing. However, the disadvantages of these materials are high prices, cumbersome processing procedures, and low strength, which limit their application. In addition, if the expensive nickel content in the product is high, the product cost will significantly increase.
High manganese steel refers to alloy steel with a manganese content of up to 11-14%. The world has abundant reserves of manganese resources, and metal manganese has stable advantages in supply and demand due to its relatively small price fluctuations in the international raw material market. The price of high manganese steel is also more competitive than that of 9% nickel steel. It not only maintains ideal performance under ultra-low temperature conditions of minus 196 degrees Celsius, but also has high strength and strong wear resistance. Therefore, high manganese steel has been highly regarded as a new generation material for LNG fuel storage tanks. Major shipyards, steel companies, and others in the world have engaged in fierce competition to seize the high manganese steel market.

According to the International Shipbuilding Network, after more than 10 years of joint research and engineering verification, Hanhua Ocean and Pohang Iron have collaborated to complete the development of Korean high manganese steel LNG fuel tank technology. In 2010, Pohang Iron and Steel and Hanhua Ocean began joint research and development of high manganese steel, and successfully developed ultra-low temperature high manganese steel thick plate products in 2013. This type of high manganese steel is an alloy steel with a manganese content of up to 11-14%. It was certified by the National Institute of Technical Standards (KATS) under the South Korean Ministry of Industry and Commerce in 2014 and by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) in May 2017.

In 2018, South Korea promoted the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to issue the Revised Temporary Guidelines for the Application of High Manganese Austenitic Steel for Low Temperature Environments, which clarified that high manganese steel can be used as a low-temperature steel for carrying LNG, and agreed to use high manganese steel in cargo tanks and fuel tanks of LNG transport ships and LNG power ships. In December of the same year, at the 100th meeting of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee, the ultra-low temperature high manganese steel and its application technology for LNG storage tanks independently developed by Pohang Iron and Steel Corporation were officially registered as an international technical standard. In 2019, high manganese steel was approved by the South Korean Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Resources for use as onshore LNG storage tanks, and passed low-temperature material performance tests. Its performance and stability have been proven through actual project operations.

On June 16, 2022, Hanwha Ocean and POSCO Steel held a ceremony to install high manganese steel LNG fuel tanks on LNG powered VLCC, which was successfully carried on two LNG powered VLCCs built for Türkiye's shipowner Advantage Tankers. This is also the first VLCC in the world to carry high manganese steel LNG fuel tanks independently developed by South Korea, setting a milestone in the application of high manganese steel materials to LNG fuel tanks. On October 31 of the same year, Han Hua Ocean held a loading ceremony for the installation of high manganese steel LNG fuel tanks on an LNG dual fuel powered 24000TEU ultra large container ship.

At the 9th meeting of the IMO Freight and Container Transport Subcommittee (CCC) held in London from September 20 to 29, 2023, Pohang Iron's independently developed High Manganese Steel for liquid ammonia cargo tanks and storage tanks and its application technology were officially registered as an international technical standard.

As of now, Hanhua Ocean has undertaken a total of 36 new ship orders for the application of high manganese steel fuel tanks, including 14 VLCCs and 22 container ships. Among them, 14 VLCCs and 4 container ships have been successfully delivered to the shipowner, and the remaining 18 container ships are under construction.
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