Zodiac Maritime Explores Potential of Nuclear-Powered Ships

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Updated Published

Zodiac Maritime, an enterprise owned by Eyal Ofer, is collaborating with KEPCO E&C, HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE), and Lloyd's Register of South Korea. They are teaming up to create plans for ships powered by nuclear energy.

The shipping industry is considering using nuclear energy as a potential ship fuel in the future. HD Hyundai Global R&D Center has agreed to investigate this in a collaborative initiative focusing on building nuclear-powered bulk carriers and containerships.

As prominent entities in both shipbuilding and the nuclear industry, HD KSOE and KEPCO E&C have come together to collaborate on creating a nuclear propulsion ship. Their goal is to engineer a vessel with a life cycle cost (LCA) that is less than half of the expenses associated with carbon-neutral ships.

The collaborative initiative involves HD KSOE and KEPCO E&C contributing designs for upcoming vessels and their reactors. LR will be responsible for evaluating rule requirements to ensure safe operation and compliance with regulations. This partnership enables Zodiac to assess ship specifications and voyage considerations related to nuclear technology.

Zodiac is dedicated to reducing the environmental impact of its shipping activities, a goal that is clearly reflected in its growing order book featuring dual-fuel vessels. Headquartered in the UK, the company manages a diverse fleet of over 130 ships, with over 20 new builds currently in the pipeline. Notably, these new additions predominantly comprise LNG dual-fuel containerships and car carriers, showcasing Zodiac's steadfast commitment to environmentally conscious shipping practices.

Stavros Hatzigrigoris, the director overseeing new buildings at Zodiac Maritime, expressed: “The shipping industry is on an exciting but challenging journey as we transition towards a zero-carbon future. There is clearly great potential for nuclear technology to play a key part in achieving this mission, but the industry is only in the early stages of putting nuclear power to the test. We are therefore thrilled to partner with HD KSOE, KEPCO, and LR on this JDP and help facilitate the research and development needed to accelerate nuclear power technology in shipping.”

Numerous nuclear shipping ventures are currently underway worldwide. A notable development comes from China's Jiangnan Shipyard, which has revealed plans for a 24,000 TEU container ship integrating molten salt reactor technology. Results from a recent survey conducted by the International Chamber of Shipping indicate that 9% of its C-suite members foresee the advent of nuclear-powered ships within the next ten years.

Sung-Gu Park, the president responsible for North East Asia at LR, remarked: “Lloyd’s Register believes there is a huge opportunity for nuclear technology to support the maritime energy transition and provide long-term low- or zero-carbon fuel supply security.”