South Korean shipbuilders have confirmed their first firm LNG carrier order of 2020, after Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) inked contracts to build four new vessels
To be chartered by Shell, each LNG carrier will have WinGD X-DF propulsion and capacities of 174,000 m3. The contract contains options to build six additional LNG carriers.
The four vessels were among orders valued US$900M for a total of seven ships confirmed in one week by HHI.
Hyundai Heavy Industries Group’s shipbuilding holding company, Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, reported the contracts for the seven ships were signed with four shipping companies in Europe and Bermuda.
Besides the LNG carriers, HHI inked deals to build two 50,000-dwt tankers, and one 1,000-passenger ropax vessel. There is an option to build an additional ropax vessel.
Equipped with dual-fuel propulsion engines (X-DF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, the LNG carriers will be fitted with air lubrication systems and LNG reliquefaction technology. HHI and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries will each build two ships. The vessels will go on charter to Shell in August 2023.
UK shipping analysts Clarksons Research said only six ship orders for LNG carriers were signed in H1 2020 compared with 31 at the same time last year.
HHI expects to garner further orders from LNG projects in the Middle East and Africa. An official from Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering said, “We are in the process of discussing various LNG carriers, including the Qatar and Mozambique projects.”
Qatar Petroleum has reserved shipbuilding capacity at South Korean shipyards for a potential US$19Bn newbuilding programme, but as yet, has not confirmed order totals at HHI, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries.
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