China’s ZPMC launches LNG-fueled dredger

Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC) has launched what it says is the world’s largest and China’s first LNG-powered trailing suction hopper dredger for CCCC Dredging.

Both ZPMC and CCCC Shanghai Dredging are part of state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).

According to a statement by ZPMC, the firm floated out the 15,000 cbm dredger, Xin Hai Xun, on December 24 at the yard of its Qidong offshore engineering unit.

The launching ceremony comes a year after ZPMC started building this LNG dual-fuel vessel in December 2022.

The dredger has length of about 155.7 meters, a beam of 32 meters, a dredging draft of 9.9 meters, and a maximum capacity of 17,000 cbm in the hopper, ZPMC said.

ZPMC expects to deliver this LNG-powered vessel in September 2024.

Following delivery, it will be mainly used for dredging, reclamation, and coastal maintenance projects within coastal ports and deep-water channels, which is of “great significance” in boosting the development of domestic green shipping, it said.

The vessel will join a growing number of LNG-powered vessels in operation in China and around the globe.

DNV’s Alternative Fuels Insight platform shows that there are now 460 LNG-powered ships in operation, while owners placed orders for 528 LNG-fueled vessels.

LNG-powered crude oil tankers lead the way with 73 in operation, followed by 66 containerships, 50 oil/chemical tankers, and 43 car and passenger ferries.

As per vessels on order, LNG-powered containerships account for a big part of the orders with 198 units, while shipping firms also ordered 139 car carriers.

These statistics do not include smaller inland vessels or dual-fuel LNG carriers.

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