Singapore-based Saga LNG has hosted a steel-cutting ceremony at the China Merchants Heavy Industry shipyard in Jiangsu this weekend to mark the start of construction of the first of two 45,000m³ vessels to be fitted with new containment technology.
Hull no CMHI-188 will be the first LNG carrier fitted with an IMO Type A LNG-containment system, developed by Norway-based LNG New Technologies (LNT). LNT A-Box features an IMO independent tank-type A as the primary barrier, a conventional cargo-tank support system and liquid-tight thermal insulation attached to the hull compartment, which acts as a full secondary barrier.
David Wu-led, Landmark Capital-backed Saga LNG ordered the two mid-size LNG carriers late last year. This segment of LNG shipping, deployed mostly on coastal trades, remains a niche activity. Research that VesselsValue carried out this week for LNG World Shipping shows a live fleet of just 10 vessels in the 30,000m³-99,000m³ size range, and two on order.
Saga says the ABS-classed newbuildings will “bring new life to the dwindling mid-sized LNG carrier fleet”. The company is targeting small to midscale opportunities in floating storage units (FSUs), floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs), floating LNG, barges and LNG bunker-supply vessels, all in the 1,000m³-100,000m³ range.
“With our clients and partners, we continue to move towards the optimisation of marine LNG logistics in the small-to-midsized segment, by means of practical, cost-effective technology,” Mr Wu said. “Reaching today’s milestone marks another significant step forward in realising a goal now five years in the making.”