Belgian tanker giant Euronav has placed orders at Hyundai Samho in South Korea for two firm LNG-ready VLCCs, with an option for one more. Euronav revealed today it is working with the yard and a class society to ensure the newbuilds come with an ammonia-ready notation, significantly fast forwarding the development of this new form of propulsion that many in the industry are touting as shipping’s answer to the decarbonisation riddle.
The newbuildings will also be fitted with scrubbers and and ballast water treatment systems. The two firm ships will deliver at the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 and are costing $186m en bloc, including $4.2m in additions and upgrades to the standard specifications.
“While contracting and orderbook-to-fleet ratio remains at an historical low in the tanker segment, elevated contracting activity from other segments has reduced available capacity to build VLCCs for the upcoming years at a time when the sector needs to replace maturing vessels with more environmentally friendly designs,” Euronav stated in a release today.
Hugo De Stoop, Euronav CEO, said “These ships are not only the latest generation of low consumption design but also have the option to be converted or retrofitted to use either LNG or ammonia as a low emission fuel of the future. As there are no such alternatives in the secondhand market today, and with rising steel prices and constraints over yard capacity to 2024, we wanted to seize this opportunity to rejuvenate the fleet with two or three modern VLCCs that will replace older and less efficient ships that will leave our fleet around the same time of their delivery.”