Mid-2021 has seen bullish ordering in the LNG and LPG sectors, as shipowners signed contracts for 11 new ships at Chinese and South Korean shipyards
Upward pressure on newbuilding prices is also evident with the cost of a 174,000-m3 capacity LNG carrier rising from US$190M at the start of the year to a new benchmark of US$205M for week 26. “Builders have cashed in on demand with ever-lengthening delivery times as a safeguard against a market slump or a long period of high steel plate prices,” wrote UK-based maritime consultancy BRL in the latest BRL Weekly Newbuilding Contracts.
During week 26, Capital Gas, Dynagas and United LNG Transportation placed orders for a total of seven LNG carriers, while Duck Yang Shipping and Hartmann Gas Carriers inked deals for four LPG carriers. Highlighting the orders were two newbuilds for Dynagas. These are the largest LNG carriers outside of Q-Max and Q-Flex vessels, each with a capacity of 200,000 m3 at an attractive price of US$194.3M apiece. Being built at South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the LNG carriers will have an overall length of 299.8 m, beam of 48.9 m, depth of 26.9 m and draught of 12.5 m. Propulsion for each vessel will be supplied by two two-stroke, low-pressure Otto-cycle, dual-fuel WinGD 5X72 engines. The Malta-flag vessels will be delivered in January 2024 and March 2024, respectively. These LNGCs are believed to be fitted with GTT Mark III Flex+ membrane cargo containment systems (CCS).
“These ships were exercised options from two sisters ordered only three weeks earlier in early June,” noted BRL Weekly Newbuilding Contracts. “Owners are increasingly swiftly firming options as demand for berth space is incessant. In LNG, this is before the pending huge order from Qatar is firmed in South Korea. This plan appears to have fallen back to 2022 now. The only Qatar ships ordered so far are at Hudong-Zhonghua.”
Hudong-Zhonghua completed gas trials on the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Transgas Power for Dynagas in May. When delivered, it will be the first newbuild FSRU constructed in China.
Meanwhile, Capital Gas went to HHI for its newbuilds, too, ordering two 174,000-m3 vessels for delivery in September and December 2023, respectively. The two Greece-flag ships were priced at US$193.5M, according to BRL. This raises to six the number of LNG carriers ordered by the Greek shipowner from HHI.
GTT announced on 28 June it had secured orders from HHI to design GTT Mark III Flex CCS for two 174,000-m3 carriers for a European shipowner. In all, GTT has announced orders for nine CCS during June.
Hong Kong-based United LNG Transportation tapped Hudong-Zhonghua to build three 174,000-m3 LNG carriers at a price of US$205M apiece. United LNG Transportation, a joint venture of PetroChina and Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation, will take delivery of one vessel in September 2024, March 2025 and September 2025. To be chartered to China National Offshore Oil Corp for 10 years, all three Changxing-series vessels have been specified with X-DF propulsion, with a service speed of 19.5 knots. Each will have an overall length of 295 m, beam of 45 m and depth of 26.25 m.
Hartmann orders three LPG carriers
In the LPG sector, Hartmann Gas Carriers, part of the family owned shipping company Hartmann Group, ordered three 40,000-m3 LPG carriers from China’s Jiangsu Yangzi-Mitsui Shipbuilding, all for delivery by March 2024.
Jiangsu Yangzi-Mitsui is a joint venture formed between Yangzijiang Shipbuilding and Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding in 2019.
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