Norway-based small-scale player Kanfer Shipping said it has placed an order for two LNG bunkering vessels at Chinese shipyard Taizhou Wuzhou Shipbuilding.
The order follows a letter of intent between the duo in January this year.
Kanfer said in a statement on Wednesday the Chinese yard would deliver the 6,000-cbm bunkering and distribution vessels by the second half of 2023.
In addition, the contract includes an option for two additional vessels.
The CGR Arctic Marine-designed LNG bunkering ships will have a mono-tank design with a simple arrangement and minimal boil-off, according to Kanfer.
They will feature gas-electric propulsion combined with hybrid battery technology but also a 500-cbm MDO cargo tank.
Kanfer chief Stig Hagen says the company plans to build a “large fleet” of small- and medium-scale LNG distribution and bunkering ships.
He said the company sees a “rapidly expanding” market for LNG bunkering vessels as the world maritime industry continues to pivot towards its decarbonisation goals through LNG.
Moreover, the current “very modest order book for new LNG bunkering vessels makes Kanfer’s decision well-timed,” Hagen added.