Hudong-Zhonghua to build one LNG bunkering vessel for TotalEnergies

French energy giant TotalEnergies has selected China’s Hudong-Zhonghua and Spain’s Ibaizabal for the construction and charter of one LNG bunkering vessel, according to shipbuilding sources.

The shipbuilding deal with Hudong-Zhonghua is expected to be signed this week, sources told LNG Prime on Friday.

It includes one firm 18,600-cbm LNG bunkering vessel and one optional vessel.

According to the sources, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) and Ibaizabal Group were competing to win the charter deal and TotalEnergies selected Ibaizabal as the shipowner.

The vessel will feature GTT’s Mark III Flex containment tech and a new Wartsila W25DF engine with better fuel consumption and also lower methane slip.

The price tag of the vessel is tipped to be around $90 million, while Hudong-Zhonghua is expected to deliver the ship at the end of 2026.

This new vessel will be similar to the 135 meters long 18,600-cbm LNG bunkering ships, Gas Vitality and Gas Agility, Hudong-Zhonghua built for owner Japan’s MOL and charterer TotalEnergies.

However, it will have a better boil-off rate (BOR) and an improved engine, the sources said.

Earlier this year, a unit of TotalEnergies has completed the 100th LNG bunkering operation with its chartered vessel, Gas Vitality, in Marseille.

Hudong-Zhonghua has held a naming ceremony for Gas Vitality in October 2021 and the vessel arrived in France in December the same year.

It is the first LNG bunkering vessel to be based in France.

Gas Vitality has similar specifications as its sister ship, Gas Agility, which works for TotalEnergies from the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

Since November 2020, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels has completed more than 200 LNG bunkering operations with the two vessels, it said in October last year.

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