A landmark delivery from China brings the live LNG-carrier fleet to 500 vessels – and there are plenty more to come
LNG World Shipping is pleased to announce a major milestone in the evolution of the LNG carrier industry.
The LNG fleet welcomed its 500th ship last Friday. The landmark vessel is the 174,000m3 Cesi Beihai, the third of six LNGCs that Hudong Zhonghua is building in China for charter to Sinopec.
The global LNG shipping industry has grown rapidly in recent years, supporting the increasing use and availability of natural gas and the drive to cut costs in LNG processing and transport.
It took 34 years from the commencement of commercial LNG shipments for the in-service fleet of LNG carriers to reach 100 vessels, in 1998, but the 200-vessel barrier was broken in 2006.
LNG World Shipping’s monitoring of fleet statistics revealed that the fleet reached the 400-ship mark in April 2014, and the growth surge is continuing.
Cesi Beihai is the 20th LNG carrier delivered so far this year and we reckon that, according to the delivery schedule of the current orderbook, the fleet will be reach 600 vessels by summer 2019.
Cesi Beihai is also the 13th LNG carrier built by Hudong. While Chinese yards aspire to build a strong presence in LNG-carrier construction, they have a way to go to catch up with their South Korean rivals.
Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) are neck-and-neck in the race to be the top LNG builder: Samsung has built 108 ships and Daewoo 107.
Analysis: Mike Corkhill looks in more detail at the 500-ship LNG-carrier landmark