South Korea’s HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) and KEPCO Engineering and Construction Company have partnered to propose designs for a floating offshore nuclear power barge. The goal is to explore the potential of small nuclear reactors and emerging technologies like molten salt reactors as cost-effective solutions for power generation with lower carbon emissions. The design for the floating offshore nuclear power barge has received approval in principle from the class society after review by ABS and the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR). The barge is intended to provide offshore power generation for remote communities and island electrification.
HD KSOE has invested $30 million in fourth-generation SMR company, TerraPower, and plans to accelerate the development of future nuclear-powered ships. KEPCO E&C, with its extensive experience in developing nuclear power plants, will continue to work on risk assessments for future applications of the barge concept. The concept of floating nuclear reactors is also gaining interest in the maritime industry, with partnerships like Samsung Heavy Industries and Seaborg developing a floating nuclear power plant barge using Compact Molten Salt Reactor technology.
Crowley has also announced a partnership with BWX Technologies to develop a power generation vessel concept using a microreactor. This concept aims to supply energy to shore facilities in remote island locations, backup utility grids after disasters, and provide power in scenarios where traditional electricity sources are damaged or not possible. These efforts contribute to the goal of decarbonization and the development of high-value ships and emerging technologies in the maritime industry.