SHI secures deal for two ammonia carriers

South Korean shipbuilding major Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has won a 310.8 billion won ($240 million) contract to construct two very large ammonia and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers for a shipping company based in Oceania.

Illustration/Courtesy of SHI

The agreement mandates Samsung Heavy to complete and deliver the ammonia carriers to an undisclosed client in the Oceania region by June 2027, SHI said in a regulatory filing.

This recent contract brings the total orders secured by the company in the current year to $6.8 billion, marking a significant stride towards its annual order target of $9.5 billion.

Samsung Heavy Industries maintains a robust three-year order backlog valued at $31.9 billion, Yonhap reported.

South Korean shipbuilders have secured a growing number of orders over the recent period for ammonia carriers including those of record-breaking capacity.

In September, South Korean shipbuilding major HD KSOE signed contracts for the world’s first four 88,000 cbm very large ammonia carriers (VLACs) with Capital Gas and Singapore’s Eastern Pacific Pte (EPS). 

These vessels distinguish themselves from conventional very-large gas carriers as they are designed with significantly increased ammonia loading capacity in the cargo tanks.

Specifically, the new tanks will allow them to carry ammonia up to 98% of cargo tank capacity. The VLACs are scheduled to be delivered by the second half of 2027.

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In November, Hanwha Ocean secured an order worth around $498 million to construct four very large ammonia carriers (VLACs) for Greek shipowner Naftomar Shipping and Trading. Each VLAC will be able to transport 93,000 cubic meters of ammonia which makes them the largest of its kind in the world so far.

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What is more, in early December tanker operator Maersk Tankers ordered up to ten very large ammonia carriers (VLACs) at Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in Korea.

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The increasing demand for the construction of ammonia carriers reflects a broader trend driven by the rising anticipation for the seaborne transport of ammonia. This surge is closely tied to the growing recognition of ammonia as an alternative fuel, particularly in the context of the global shift towards cleaner energy sources and the broader energy transition.

As the world focuses on reducing carbon emissions and exploring sustainable energy options, ammonia has gained attention for its potential as a clean and versatile energy carrier. The construction of specialized carriers, designed to transport ammonia, becomes pivotal in facilitating its efficient and safe movement across the seas.