‘Promising Start’ to 2018 for LNG Containment System-Maker GTT

A GTT LNG containment tank.
A GTT LNG containment tank. Photo credit: Chevron

French liquefied natural gas containment manufacturer GTT says 2018 is off to a “great start” having received new orders to provide LNG containment systems for three LNG carriers and one bunkering vessel that will supply the LNG fuel to the world’s largest gas-powered containerships.

The three LNG carriers, with capacities ranging from 174,000 to 180,000 m3, will be constructed at Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in South Korea with deliveries expected in 2020. The three vessels will be equipped with GTT’s Mark III Flex membrane LNG containment system. 

As for the LNG bunkering vessel, it will built in China by at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard with delivery scheduled for 2020. The 18,000 m3 capacity vessel will be based in Northern Europe and used to supply the LNG fuel to CMA CGM’s nine 22,000 TEU ultra-large containerships, which the French shipping company ordered in September from shipyards belonging state-run China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). 

The bunkering vessel will be operated by Mitsui OSK Lines and chartered by a unit of Total, which was awarded the LNG fuel supply contract from CMA CGM last December. Under the agreement, Total will supply the CMA CGM vessels with approximately 300,000 tons of LNG per year for a period of 10 years.

In addition to the order, GTT also announced that another LNG carrier already in its orderbook has been selected as the first newbuild to receive the new Mark III Flex+ technology, which lowers the daily boil-off rate to 0.07%, marking the first installation of the technology.

GTT says 2017 marked a year of rebound for its core business of supply LNG contain systems to the maritime industry, with 21 orders received over the course of the year compared to just 5 orders in 2016. The company on Friday reported consolidated revenue of 232 million euro in 2017. A highlight of the year included winning the contract to supply the LNG fuel tanks to CMA CGM’s nine giant containerships, marking GTT’s entry into the LNG fuel segment. 

“2017 was marked by a clear rebound in orders of LNG carriers and the boom in FSRUs – confirming our vision of market requirements – as well as our entry into the emerging market of LNG as a fuel,” commented GTT Chairman & CEO Philippe Berterottière.

“The growth in LNG demand recorded in 2017, in particular in Asia and in new importing countries, shows that the LNG market is continuing to grow. With the emergence of LNG as a fuel, the global LNG market should start to benefit from the consumption of LNG by merchant vessels. The first order of nine ultra-large container vessels was both significant and emblematic of our ability to meet the requirements of shipping companies in this area. The partnerships we have formed with major industry players will be crucial in ensuring the development of GTT in this new ecosystem. Beyond the benefits for GTT, the use of LNG as a fuel for merchant vessels is a major step forward to reduce polluting emissions.”