Illustration; Source: China Shipbuilding

Chinese shipbuilder in need of GTT’s bag of tricks for tank design of 10 very large LNG carriers

French LNG containment specialist GTT has received an order from Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), for the tank design of ten new very large liquefied natural gas carriers (LNGCs).

Illustration; Source: China Shipbuilding

GTT was hired to design the tanks for ten vessels, each boasting five tanks with a total capacity of 271,000 cubic meters. These very large LNGCs by Hudong-Zhonghua were deemed to be the world’s biggest last September. The tanks, fitted with GTT’s NO96 Super+ membrane containment system, are scheduled for delivery between Q1 2030 and Q4 2031.

According to the French player, this technology consists of inserting reinforced polyurethane foam (R-PUF) panels instead of plywood boxes to reduce the heat ingress inside the tank, with glass wool flat joints inserted between neighboring foam panels to optimize thermal performance. 

Furthermore, GTT also secured orders from other Asian shipbuilders lately. In February, the firm was hired by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to design the tanks of 15 new LNGCs. The 174,000 cubic meter vessels will be fitted with the Mark III Flex membrane containment system and are scheduled for delivery between Q4 2026 and Q4 2028.

Before that, a Chinese shipbuilder placed an order for tank design for eight very large LNGCs. As in the Hudong-Zhonghua case, the 271,000 cubic meter vessels will be fitted with the NO96 Super+ system.

The containment specialist received approvals for its technology at the recently held Posidonia 2024 maritime event. Two classification societies greenlighted its NEXT1 LNG cargo containment system, which was interpreted as a sign that the technology is ready for commercial deployment.

Meanwhile, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding witnessed the launching of what it describes as the world’s first fifth-generation LNG carrier that will work for China’s CNOOC. The new vessel is estimated to emit 10 tons less carbon emissions during a day’s voyage than previous generation ships.

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