French cryogenic containment technology engineering firm GTT has received an order from South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the tank design for two LNG carrier newbuilds
Being built for an undisclosed European owner, each vessel will have a capacity of 174,000 m3. GTT will design the Mark III Flex membrane containment tanks for the vessels, which will be delivered in Q4 2022 and Q3 2023, respectively. This order follows one announced in September under which GTT is supplying tank designs for six LNG carriers being built by HHI and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.
The latest order comes in the wake of a decision by the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) announced in November in which it fined GTT €9.5M (US$11.5M) for its commercial practices with South Korean shipyards in relation to the construction of LNG carriers. In its decision, the KFTC said some of GTT’s commercial practices have not complied with South Korean competition regulations since 2016. KFTC wants GTT to allow South Korean shipyards to perform all or part of the technical assistance services currently included in the technology licence.
In a release, GTT emphasised that the licence of the technology and the technical assistance constitute an inseparable offering, which guarantees the integrity of its technologies, and that any separation could be detrimental to the entire LNG carrier industry. GTT intends to appeal the decision before the Seoul High Court.
At the time KFTC’s decision was announced, GTT chairman and chief executive Philippe Berterottière said, “We are convinced that our commercial practices comply with the South Korean competition rules and that the structuring of our offer, which has contributed for decades to the safe development of LNG maritime transport, makes it possible to provide our shipyard partners with ever more innovative, safe and efficient technologies, for the benefit of the entire industry.”
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