South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has disclosed that it has clinched a deal worth a total of $209.2 m with an unnamed Bermudan ship owner to build two LNG-fuelled VLCCs for delivery by April 2022.
Samsung also said the vessels will be equipped with S-Fugas, an LNG fuelling system independently developed by SHI, and other in-house technologies such as Energy Saving Devices (ESDs), which enhance fuel efficiency by improving rotational energy efficiency of propellers while operating, and SVESSEL, a smart ship solution, will be applied to the ships as well.
The company has a long track record in dual-fuel vessels and has built ships with both MAN Energy Solutions and WinGD dual-fuel two-stroke engines. "We see increasing demand for LNG-fuelled VLCCs on top of that for Suezmax and Aframax tankers powered by LNG. SHI aims to take more opportunities to come as we have predominated the market with the advancement of technologies," an official of Samsung is quoted as saying.
Although the owner was not named, two candidates spring to mind. Teekay which already has dual-fuelled tankers built at Samsung in smaller sizes, and Frontline. Teekay has recently disposed of some assets and restructured financing for fleet purchases. Frontline executives have been bullish about prospects for the tanker market in recent months and may see the number of VLCCs tied up in long term storage deals as a good time to buy new vessels.