Maersk Tankers firms up options for four more VLACs at South Korean yard

Danish tanker operator Maersk Tankers has exercised an option for four more very large ammonia carriers (VLACs) at South Korean HD Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.

In a statement sent to Offshore Energy, the company confirmed that it has “lifted the options for eight out of ten VLACs”. The initial order for four firm VLACs was placed in December last year.

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The 93,000 cbm vessels will be among the largest ammonia carriers in operation, capable of carrying a full cargo of ammonia, according to Maersk Tankers.

The tanker operator joined forces with German engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) and  Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Engine Machine Division (EMD) to make the vessels capable of running on clean ammonia. 

The first four firm VLACs are due to be delivered from late 2026 onwards. Japanese company Mitsui & Co. will join as a co-investor in these four ships.

Clean hydrogen and its derivative, clean ammonia, are poised to become vital commodities during the shipping’s transition to clean energy.

Many of the clean ammonia projects under development around the globe require seaborne transportation. The market is therefore looking for energy-efficient and safe solutions to meet the growing ammonia transportation needs.

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