Switzerland-based shipping giant MSC is being linked to the most recent order for six 16,000 TEU LNG-powered container vessels at China’s Dalian Shipbuilding (DSIC), a unit of CSSC.
Two shipbuilding sources told LNG Prime on Sunday that MSC had ordered the six LNG-powered vessels and that they would also be ammonia-ready.
DSIC revealed the order in a statement on Saturday, along with a contract for four bulk carriers with Polska Zegluga Morska.
According to DSIC, the six dual-fueled ships would have 366 meters in length and 51 meters in width and would feature WinGD engines.
DSIC said it would build the vessels for a European owner. It did not disclose the price tag or the delivery dates.
The yard claims these vessels would be the world’s first ammonia-ready dual-fuel large containerships.
However, Samsung Heavy is already building 15,000 TEU LNG dual-fuel ammonia-ready containerships for Seaspan and charterer Zim. These vessels will have GTT’s Mark III LNG tanks and will include features to facilitate a potential conversion of these vessels to ammonia.
One shipbuilding source said that the DSIC vessels would become the first dual-fuel ammonia-ready containerships built in China.
LNG-powered fleet in the making
DSIC is already building several LNG-powered ships, including Cosco Shipping’s VLCC, CO2 carriers for the Northern Lights joint venture, and also China’s first LNG bunkering ship.
Last year, the yard won an order to build seven LNG-ready 16,000 TEU containerships linked to MSC as well.
MSC is building a large fleet of LNG-powered vessels but the shipping line rarely confirms its charters and orders.
The Geneva-based giant, which has a fleet of about 600 vessels, should later this year welcome its first chartered LNG-powered containerships in its fleet, MSC Washington.
Besides these DSIC vessels, it also signed a deal in July with GSI for two additional scrubber-fitted LNG-ready vessels, boosting the total to eight.
In addition, MSC confirmed last year it had signed a contract with Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Shipping to charter eleven 15,300 TEU LNG-powered containerships.
Brokers also said in October that MSC would charter six new LNG-powered vessels ordered by Zodiac Maritime and Cido Shipping. MSC did not confirm these reports.