The keel has been laid for the first of two of the world’s largest super-eco, dual-fuel very large gas carriers (VLGCs) at China’s Jiangnan Shipbuilding (Group) Co, Ltd
In a social media post, Brussels-listed shipowner Exmar reported the two VLGCs will burn liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as fuel, operating under a charter with Norwegian energy company Equinor. The first 86,000-m3 VLGC, Jiangnan H2667, will be delivered in Q2 2021, with Jiangnan H2668 to follow later in 2021. Built to Lloyd’s Register class, each vessel will have a length of 230 m, beam of 36.6 m and draught of 11.8 m.
Equinor also agreed to a time charter of three newbuild LPG-propelled mid-size gas carriers with Singapore-headquartered Eastern Pacific Shipping. Under construction at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea, the 38,553-m3 newbuild gas carriers will be delivered in 2022.
The deal aligns with Eastern Pacific Shipping’s Environmental, Social & Governance Policy, which calls for using alternative marine fuels as a means to lower shipping’s carbon footprint. These gas carriers will “pave the way towards decarbonisation by emitting significantly lower greenhouse gases and will be IMO compliant years ahead of schedule,” said the company.
Eastern Pacific Shipping is a leader in the niche mid-size LPG segment, with an existing fleet of 11 gas carriers. Among these vessels are three LPG carriers acquired from Neu in September 2019 and two mid-size gas carriers delivered by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard earlier this year.
Equinor, which has about 175 vessels under charter at any given time, plans to launch large-scale use of LPG as a fuel during 2021 as part of its efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of its fleet. By 2030, Equinor wants to cut maritime emissions in Norway by 50% as compared to 2005 levels, and global emissions by 50% compared to 2008 levels.
Those ambitions are significant since the maritime sector accounts for 6% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Norway and 2% to 3% of global emissions.
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