Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua is expected to secure a new order for six 174,000-cbm LNG carriers that would serve state-owned energy giant CNOOC, according to shipbuilding sources.
In January, Hudong signed a contract with CNOOC, Japan’s MOL, and COSCO Shipping for six LNG carriers worth about $1.17 billion.
CNOOC’s gas and power unit will charter these vessels and use them to transport LNG from Venture Global’s liquefaction plants in the US to China.
Hudong said this was the largest single order for LNG carriers in the history of China’s shipbuilding industry.
Two sources told LNG Prime on Wednesday that Hudong and CNOOC are close to signing a new contract for six LNG carriers.
One source said the two companies should sign the shipbuilding deal during March.
Besides CNOOC, the project could include MOL and COSCO or other partners, the source said.
CNOOC’s gas and power unit would take on charter these vessels as well.
Part of Hudong’s fifth-generation Changxeng series, the 299 meters long vessels would feature WinGD’s X-DF dual-fuel engines and GTT’s NO96 Super+ containment system, the source said.
CNOOC is heavily investing in LNG import capacity in China and it needs carriers to deliver volumes to the world’s largest LNG importer.
The firm is currently building the world’s largest LNG storage tanks at its Binhai LNG import terminal in Jiangsu.
Following completion in 2023, each of the tanks will have a capacity of 270,000 cbm and will add to the already four existing tanks with a capacity of 220,000 cbm located in Yancheng Binhai Port Industrial Park.
Besides this phase, CNOOC is also planning a second stage of expansion to build ten more 270,000-cbm LNG storage tanks, it recently said.