AET's two 113,000 dwt vessels are currently being built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and are due for delivery in the third quarter of this year. The charter contract will see Shell take both vessels on a long-term charter commencing in the fourth quarter. No financial details were disclosed.
The deal follows closely on the heels of AET winning a contract in June 2017 to build and operate two LNG dual-fuelled DP2 Offshore Loading Shuttle Tankers for service in oilfields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and the southern Barents Sea as well as on the UK Continental Shelf.
The Shell contract builds on that achievement, the company said, and cements AET's position in the LNG dual-fuel market, marking a further step in its ability to offer innovative and environmentally responsible solutions to its global customers.
Both Malaysian flagged vessels will be fitted with twin LNG tanks, allowing them to trade worldwide on LNG and with LNG more readily available now, this makes them ideally suited to operate in the 0.1% sulphur SECA regions of North America, Northwest Europe and Asia, and ensures full compliance with the incoming 2020 sulphur cap.
When operating in gas mode, the two AET tankers will emit up to 30% less CO2, 85% less NOx, 99% less SOx and 95% less particular matters, making them among the cleanest Aframax tankers in the market.
AET president and ceo Rajalingam Subramaniam said: "As a world leading owner and operator of petroleum vessels, we have a responsibility to embrace the future of sustainable shipping. AET strives to proactively adapt and embrace the opportunities that emerge from the industry and global environment. Therefore, we took the decision to begin building LNG dual-fuelled Aframax vessels some time ago and these two Aframaxes are amongst the first to take their place in our global fleet. As part of the MISC Group and its Sustainability Agenda, AET upholds our environmental stewardship by consistently evaluating greener solutions, and our investment in the LNG dual-fuelled Aframax tankers is a further tribute to this.”
He added: "Shell is a longstanding and highly valued partner, and we have been working together on these time charter arrangements for quite some time. The fact that Shell has agreed to charter our new ships is a true testament to their commitment to thriving throughout the energy transition and will encourage AET to forge ahead with our commitment to operate a future fleet, where at least half of our ships are fuelled with LNG."
Shell Crude Trading vp Mark Quartermain noted: "These two LNG fuelled vessels will help Shell Trading move crude, principally in the Atlantic basin. LNG is a credible marine fuel and will play an important role in our fleet as we introduce cleaner and more efficient vessels. As emissions standards tighten we continue to work with forward thinking companies like AET to support lower emission transportation solutions."