Norway’s Kanfer Shipping has inked a shipbuilding contract with China-based Taizhou Wuzhou Shipbuilding Industry to build two 6,000-m3 LNG bunker and transport ships
The contract firms a letter of intent signed by Kanfer with Taizhou in January and calls for delivery of the vessels by H2 2023, with the option to build additional vessels.
“Taizhou has deep experience in building small-scale LNG carriers and Kanfer’s technological partner, CGR Arctic Marine has worked closely for years with the yard,” noted Kanfer Shipping founder and chief executive Stig Hagen. “This relationship and its competitiveness have made Taizhou an ideal choice for construction of Kanfer’s 6,000 m3 capacity small-scale vessels,” he added.
CGR’s concept design for these two LNG bunker and transport vessels includes a mono-tank design, with simple arrangement and minimal boil-off, pure gas electric power production combined with hybrid-battery technology, Azipull thrusters and a bow thruster for propulsion and 500-m3 marine diesel oil cargo tank.
Mr Hagen said the two newbuild LNG bunkering vessels are “just the start.” He said Kanfer “will be building a large fleet of small- and medium-scale LNG distribution and bunkering ships. We see a rapidly expanding market for LNG bunker vessels as the world maritime industry continues to pivot towards its decarbonisation goals through LNG.”
Mr Hagen characterised the current market as “very modest” for new LNG bunkering vessels, noting that similar newbuild vessels to be delivered in 2022 and 2023 have already been chartered out. “The need for the emergence of new LNG bunkering centres will be critical as the trading pattern for gas-driven vessels will be global and very diversified,” he added.
The fleet of LNG-fuelled vessels continues to grow, with some 204 vessels in operation and another 294 on order or under construction, according to DNV’s Alternative Fuels Insights. Underpinning that growth has been the surety of cheap, available LNG and LNG bunkering infrastructure, with 31 LNG bunkering vessels in operation and another 21 on order, prior to Kanfer’s contract.
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