Hanwha Ocean NH3 carrier ammonia

Hanwha Ocean wins $247 million deal for VLAC pair amid growing demand for ammonia carriers

South Korean shipbuilder Hanwha Ocean, formerly known as Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), secured its first order for 2024 with an agreement to build two 93,000 cbm ultra-large ammonia carriers equipped with eco-friendly technology.

Image credit: Hanwha Ocean

The vessels, valued at approximately KRW 331.2 billion ($247 million), were commissioned by an unnamed shipowner in the Oceania region, marking the seventh such order in the past two months.

The ordered ammonia carriers, capable of transporting 93,000 cbm of ammonia, will incorporate Hanwha Ocean’s eco-friendly technologies, including the Hanwha SmartShip Solution & Service (HS4) smart ship platform and the shaft generator motor (SGM). The construction of these carriers will take place at the company’s Geoje plant, with delivery scheduled for the second half of 2027.

A spokesperson from Hanwha Ocean attributed the consistent influx of orders for eco-friendly carriers to market confidence in the company’s technology. He voiced Hanwha Ocean’s commitment to establishing a benchmark for advanced eco-friendly shipbuilding technology through ongoing technological advancements.

Hanwha Ocean is actively pursuing the development of alternative fuels and eco-friendly technologies, aiming to progressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve the commercialization of carbon-free ships, exploring propulsion options such as ammonia, direct hydrogen, and hydrogen fuel cells.

South Korean shipbuilders have been experiencing a considerable pick-up in demand for VLACs over the recent period. Earlier today, HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE) revealed it had secured an order for the construction of three very large ammonia carriers.

As informed, the company will build the three vessels for an unnamed shipping company from Central and South America.

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The company has secured orders for almost 30 ships since the beginning of the year. The deals include 2 very large ammonia carriers, 15 medium-sized PC ships, 8 very large LPG carriers, and two LNG carriers.

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Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) closed the year with $240 million contract to construct two very large ammonia and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers for a shipping company based in Oceania.

The deal was followed by a contract for two LPG/ammonia carriers with undisclosed shipowners in the Oceania region announced last week.

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Samsung said that the two VLACs are scheduled for delivery by the end of November 2027.

The company behind the order is believed to be George Economou’s TMS Cardiff Gas, which already has four eco-design VLACs on order at the yard, according to the data from VesselsValue. The 88,000 cbm newbuilds are all slated for delivery in 2027.