Technology licensing orders for six very large ethane carriers (VLECs), combined with those for 57 LNG carriers and three gravity-based structures (GBS) contributed to record annual results for French engineering and cargo containment system company GTT
GTT reported consolidated revenue of €288.2M (US$322M) in 2019, up 17.2% from €246M (US$272.8M) in 2018. With LNG carrier fleet growth surging, the outlook for 2020 looks even brighter, with projects valued at an estimated €375M (US$419M) to €405M (US$452). All of the LNG carriers will be equipped with GTT’s newest cryogenic containment technologies Mark III Flex+, Mark III Flex and NO96 GW, which have improved boil-off rates (BOR) as compared with previous generation membrane systems. All of the LNG carriers are scheduled for delivery between the end of 2020 and H1 2023.
GTT chairman and chief executive Philippe Berterottiére said a record number of FIDs for gas liquefaction projects — over 70 mta under construction – were a “sign of confidence on the part of the major gas companies over the long-term prospects of the LNG market.” Added Mr Berterottiére, “They will generate orders for LNG carriers in the next three years.”
Among the notable orders for its Mark III membrane technology secured in September were six VLECs, which are being built by South Korean shipyards Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for China’s Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical.
Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical signed shipbuilding contracts with HHI and SHI in March, after failing to find a Chinese shipbuilding partner. Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical chairman and president Wei Dong Yang said the VLECs are an essential seaborne link to supply feedstock to China’s first ethane cracking facility in Lian Yun Gang. The feedstock will be used to manufacture acrylic acid and acrylates, which are used to produce adhesives, specialty rubbers and plastics or polymer resins and emulsions used in apparel fabrics, home textiles and decorative materials.
The second-generation ethane carriers for Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical are among the largest ever built, with capacities of 98,000 m3. Designed for multi-gas use, with the ability to transport ethane, propylene, LPG and ethylene, these six gas carriers will also carry the class notation ‘LNG ready’, offering the possibility of carrying LNG in the future without the need to convert the ship’s tanks.
GTT said the design of its Mark III membrane containment system has been optimised to significantly increase the cargo capacity within the standard VLGC’s overall dimensions, while limiting the ship’s draught.
GTT said the expected lower BOR, optimised fuel consumption, reduced power utility, higher ship speed and cargo capacity will significantly improve the overall economics of the delivered cargo per tonne to the end customer. GTT reports that the BOR for a 170,000-m3 gas carrier is from 0.15% to 0.125%, depending on vessel size, tank arrangement and reinforcement.
The GTT Mark III membrane system is a containment and insulation system that is directly supported by the ship’s hull structure. It is composed of a primary corrugated stainless-steel membrane, positioned on top of prefabricated insulation panels, including a complete secondary membrane made of composite material.
A modular system, GTT Mark III employs standard prefabricated components that can accommodate any shapes and capacities of tanks. They are designed for mass production techniques and easy assembly.
Delivery of the first in the series of VLECs is scheduled for Q4 2020. Mr Yang said the company’s goal for future ethane carrier newbuilding programmes is to partner with a Chinese shipbuilder to construct “made-in-China ships.”
One of the most unique orders won by GTT was the contract it signed with Saren BV, a joint venture between Renaissance Heavy Industries Russia and Saipem, for the design and construction of three GBS terminals for the Arctic LNG 2 project in Russia. The scope of the contract calls for the design, construction studies and technical assistance for the membrane containment systems of the LNG and ethane tanks which will be installed inside the three GBS terminals. The first two GBS terminals will be equipped with two LNG tanks, each with a capacity of 114,500 m³, and an ethane tank of 980 m³. The third GBS terminal will be equipped with two LNG tanks of 114,500 m³ each. The GBS terminals, which will lie on the seabed, will consist of concrete caissons with membrane containment tanks using GTT’s GST technology. The units will be built in a drydock at Novatek-Murmansk. They will then be towed and installed in their final location in the Gydan peninsula in Russian Arctic.
By using the GBS concept in conjunction with local supply, manufacturing and construction in Russia, Arctic LNG 2 is aiming to lower the capex per tonne of LNG produced by the project. Arctic LNG will have three trains, each with a capacity of 6.6 mta and 1.6 mta of stable gas condensate. Total capital expenditure for the project is estimated at US$21.3Bn.
Russia’s Novatek controls a 60% stake in the Arctic LNG 2 project, with the remaining 40% interest split evenly between Total, CNPC, CNOOC and a consortium of Mitsui and Jogmec.
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