The contract comes with an option for an additional sister vessel.
HMD said the deal means it has become Korea’s first shipbuilder to win an order for a small-to-medium sized LNG carrier from a foreign shipping company.
The newbuild LNG carrier is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2021. The carrier will run from eastern Italy to Sardinia island in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
HMD pointed out that the carrier will boast a shaft generator, often called ‘the green source of power’, which uses dual-fuel diesel-electric propulsion systems and engines that can also run on boil-off gas and thereby significantly enhances operational efficiency.
The LNG carrier market has been traditionally focused on large-scale vessels with capacity of 160,00o cu m or over, but a growing demand for LNG as an environmentally-friendly fuel and the expanding LNG bunkering infrastructure worldwide are combining to spur the rapid growth of the small-scale LNG tanker segment.
According to Clarksons, the average number of small-scale LNG carriers on order per year globally remained at around five for the past five years, but the number is expected to triple to 15 over the next decade.
“Building on this competitive advantage, we aim to secure a strong foothold in the market for LNG bunkering vessels and other small-scale LNG carriers down the road,” a HMD official said.
In October, HMD delivered a LNG bunkering vessel to German ship management group Bernhard Schulte.