Chinese shipowner COSCO and energy firm CNPC could later this year order additional LNG vessels at compatriot shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua.
Hudong is already building three 174,000 cbm vessels for the partners scheduled for delivery in 2022-2023.
This represents the first LNG transportation project developed solely by Chinese companies including COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation, CNPC, and CSSC.
The first three vessels are part of a deal revealed in April 2020 and signed in June, which also included options for three additional ships.
Shipbuilding sources tell LNG Prime that COSCO and CNPC are looking to exercise options for the additional vessels later this year.
The ships would cost about $185 million, each, same as the first three LNG carriers, the sources said.
In addition, they would also feature WinGD X-DF dual-fuel engines and GTT’s NO96 L03+ containment system.
Hudong cuts steel for third carrier
In a related development, Hudong started working on the third LNG carrier it builds for the partners.
The state-owned shipbuilder said it held a steel cutting ceremony on Wednesday for the last ship in this batch.
Following delivery in 2022 and 2023, all these vessels will transport LNG for CNPC’s Hong Kong-listed unit PetroChina. The carriers should transport volumes from Cheniere’s Corpus Christi plant in the US to China.
As per the additional vessels, they could ship LNG from Eni’s Coral South FLNG project in Mozambique or the Shell-led LNG Canada development to China, the sources said. CNPC has stakes in both of the projects.