Kumiai Navigation's Crystal Trinity

Kumiai Navigation doubles its dual-fuel VLGC order at Kawasaki

Singapore-based shipowner Kumiai Navigation has doubled its order for dual-fuel VLGC newbuildings at Kawasaki Heavy Industries to two ships.

Illustration; Image credit KHI

Each vessel has a capacity of 86,700 cbm for LPG/liquefied ammonia gas.

The first vessel from the series was ordered last year, and now the company has two VLGC newbuildings that can load ammonia.

Ammonia is an important substance for several industries, such as agriculture, where it is used as a fertilizer, and the manufacturing industry, where it is used as a raw material for producing chemicals and plastics.

Furthermore, ammonia is also a crucial component for the production of clean energy, as it can be used as a fuel in certain fuel cells to generate electricity. As such, there is a growing interest in the transportation of ammonia due to its role in reducing carbon emissions.

The delivery of the two ships is scheduled for February and April 2025 respectively, and they have been fixed out to European companies for 5 years.

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Kumiai, a subsidiary of Japan’s Kumiai Senpaku, operates 11 bulkers, 2 small LPG carriers, and 7 VLGCs. Four of its VLGCs run on conventional marine fuel, but the company has paused plans to retrofit them with dual-fuel engines due to rising costs and charterer reluctance to release the ships for a long period.

Klaus Rasmussen, head of projects at MAN PrimeServ, said dual-fuel retrofits are a good way for owners to maintain the value of their assets for years to come. He estimated that 154 VLGCs with single-fuel engine technology could benefit from conversion to LPG.

BW LPG has converted 15 of its VLGCs to LPG dual fuel, while China’s Tianjin Southwest Maritime is sending two of its modern VLGCs to Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry (Guangdong) shipyard to install dual-fuel engines capable of running on LPG. The work on the 85,000-cbm Gas Aquarius (built 2018) and Gas Gemini (built 2017) will be done in May.