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Shipbuilder: LNG vessel to be delivered soon

By WANG YING in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-20 08:50

The LNG carrier Tianjixing, which has a capacity of 174,000 cubic meters, at its naming ceremony on Wednesday in Shanghai. HE BAOXIN/FOR CHINA DAILY

Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Co, a unit of China State Shipbuilding Corp, said on Wednesday that it will deliver the third liquefied natural gas carrier under the 3.9 billion yuan ($551.62 million) deal with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOT) and Chinese shipping giant COSCO Shipping by the end of this month.

The LNG carrier, the Tianjixing, will have a capacity of 174,000 cubic meters and is proof of the shipbuilder's ability to build vessels of high standard, despite the novel coronavirus epidemic, said experts. The vessel is 295 meters long, has a width of 45 meters and a depth of 26.25 meters.

According to Song Wei, technical expert for LNG carriers at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, the first and second vessels under the deal were delivered in October and January. The last carrier in the deal has completed its sea trials and will go for gas trials soon, he said.

"The vessel represents Chinese shipbuilders' most advanced technologies and is also one of leading state-of-the-art LNG carriers in the world in terms of performance," said Song.

According to Song, the vessel can save energy by an additional 16 percent when compared with the previous generation of LNG vessels. Besides, it has been designed in such a manner that it can berth at more than 100 major LNG ports across the world.

Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, global new shipbuilding orders fell to the lowest during the first six months of this year since 1996, according to data provided by market tracker Clarkson Research Service, Yonhap News Agency said in a report. From January to June, new shipbuilding orders stood at 5.75 million compensated gross tons (CGTs) globally, or 269 ships, according to the global market researcher.

On a country by country basis, Chinese shipbuilders accounted for the lion's share of up to 61 percent, or 3.51 million CGTs, or 145 ships, in the first half, followed by South Korean shipbuilders with 1.18 million CGTs, or 37 ships, and Japanese peers with 570,000 CGTs, or 36 ships.

Experts said China's effective epidemic containment measures will help in the steady resumption of shipbuilding activities across the nation.

In April, the biggest export deal in China's shipbuilding sector was inked between China State Shipbuilding Corp, the world's largest shipbuilder, and Qatar Petroleum, the world's largest LNG supplier. Lei Fanpei, chairman of CSSC, said that CSSC's Shanghai-based Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding will build LNG tankers for the Qatari energy giant under a 20 billion yuan deal.

The Shanghai-based shipbuilder said that it has put in place a complete marine LNG industrial equipment chain after more than two decades of research and development.

"We started the research and development work as early as 1997 and from scratch. Till date, the company has delivered 23 LNG tankers and is currently the world's fourth-largest LNG vessel maker," said Song.

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