David Wu-led Saga LNG has held a keel-laying ceremony for its first midsized LNG carrier at the China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) shipyard in Haimen, China.
Saga LNG’s 45,000m³ newbuilding will be fitted with the LNT A-Box containment system – making it the first LNG carrier built with an IMO Type A containment system. Hull 188 was ordered late in 2015 and will be delivered in the first quarter of next year.
Hull 188 is not yet chartered. Saga LNG is targeting gas-to-power projects and plans to build up a fleet of up to 20 small and mid-sized LNG carriers, floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) and floating storage units (FSUs) to target this growing market.
The small-scale to midsize LNG carrier segment is tiny; VesselsValue research shows a live fleet of just 10 midsize carriers of 30,000m³-90,000m³ and 14 smaller LNG carriers. There are seven small LNG carriers and two midsize LNG carriers on order. VesselsValue estimates the total value of the two size segments at less than US$1.2 billion.
Saga LNG and Stolt-Nielsen both plan to order small and mid-size LNG carriers and shipbuilders in China are positioning themselves to build ships of these size, for international buyers and to meet domestic demand for coastal LNG.
LNT A-Box was developed by Norway-based LNG New Technologies (LNT). It features an IMO independent type A tank as the primary barrier, a conventional cargo-tank support system and liquid-tight thermal insulation attached to the hull compartment as a secondary barrier.