Euronav doubles down on ammonia fitted tankers

Euronav is proceeding with its fleet rejuvenation programme while pressing ahead with ammonia propulsion developments.

The Belgian tanker giant revealed today it has entered into new contracts for the building of three suezmaxes with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for $199.2m as well as exercising an option for another ammonia ready VLCC with HHI’s sister yard Hyundai Samho. The ships will deliver in the second half of 2023 and into the first quarter of 2024.

Euronav also detailed a new joint development program with HHI and class societies Lloyd’s Register and DNV to help accelerate the development of dual fuel ammonia fitted tankers.

Euronav’s newbuilds will feature a gradual and increasing degree of readiness to be converted into dual fuel fully fitted ammonia ships at a later stage, while retaining the possibility to convert them into dual fuel LNG vessels if it would make more commercial sense.

“The flexibility that these vessels offer can only be achieved by being close to the latest technological developments that are constantly coming onto the market. As with any new technology, it is important to understand as much and as early as possible how to operate them in a safe, reliable, and efficient way,” Euronav stated, adding: “Shipping is at the start of an intense period. It needs to apply new technologies, while simultaneously addressing challenging emission reduction objectives and maintaining the highest safety standards.”

The Hugo De Stoop-led company also pointed out that shipbuilding capacity will likely be constrained for the construction of large crude tankers until at least 2025, so the newbuilds contracted this year ought to give the company a competitive advantage.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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