A joint venture consisting of China Gas, Wah Kwong Maritime Transport, and CSSC Shipping is expected to order two more liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers from Dalian Shipbuilding Industry (DSIC) this year, according to shipbuilding sources.
China Gas has a 30 percent stake in Sea Jade Investment, Wah Kwong owns 45 percent, and CSSC Shipping owns 25 percent.
The JV ordered two 175,000-cbm LNG carriers at DSIC in August last year.
Besides two firm LNG carriers, the deal also included two optional vessels.
Sources told LNG Prime on Wednesday that Sea Jade Investment is expected to exercise the option for the two LNG carriers by the end of March.
CSSC’s DSIC and the JV extended the letter of intent (LoI) for the two optional vessels from the end of 2023 to the end of March, according to the sources.
The first two vessels will feature WinGD dual-fuel low-speed engines with integrated ICER system, a reliquefaction unit, and GTT’s Mark III Flex membrane containment system.
DSIC is scheduled to deliver the first two vessels in 2027, and each of these ships were tipped to be worth about $235 million.
The sources said that the optional vessels are also for delivery in 2027, while the price tag could reach more than $235 million per vessel.
Following delivery, the first two LNG carriers will serve China Gas Hongda Energy Trading, a unit of China Gas, under 20-year charter deals, Hong Kong-based natural gas operator and distributor, China Gas, previously said.
The charter hire for each LNG carrier will be at a daily hire rate of about $80,000 to $100,000 per month, it said.
DSIC’s LNG carrier orders
If the contract is confirmed, DSIC will have 15 175,000-cbm LNG carriers on order.
In June last year, DSIC kicked off the construction of the first of eight 175,000-cbm LNG carriers for compatriot China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES), a unit of China Merchants Group.
Back in March 2022, CMES placed an order for two dual-fuel LNG carriers, DSIC’s first order for large LNG carriers, and after that added six more vessels.
Besides these orders, DSIC will build three LNG carriers for a joint venture consisting of units of Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation and Sinopec.