Chinese Shipbuilding Starts 2022 with Record LNG Carrier Order

Chinese shipbuilding orders
Hudong Zhonghua reports it has built 30 large gas carriers prior to the new orders (CSSC)

Published Jan 7, 2022 7:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

China’s shipbuilding industry is reporting a strong start to 2022 with a record-setting order and growth in the important LNG carrier segment where they are looking to close the gap with South Korean shipbuilders. News of the new orders comes after Clarkson Research reported that China had retaken the top shipbuilding spot for new orders in 2021 from South Korea.

China State Shipbuilding Corporation Hudong-Zhonghua and China Shipbuilding Trading, sign a contract valued at more than $1.1 billion with Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. CNOOC Gas & Power Group will operate the ships as the charter from MOL. The order for six large LNG carriers is being reported as the largest single order and the largest contract amount for LNG carrier construction by a Chinese ship company in the past ten years.

The order is for the latest generation gas carriers known as the "Changheng Series" which was independently developed by Hudong Zhonghua. The vessels, which each have a capacity of 174,000 m3 employ the latest design concepts, with new technologies include a lighter overall weight to reduce fuel consumption. The loading system is reported to be adaptable to different routes and increased the loading capacity. Emissions have also been reduced from operations to meet Phase IV of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI.

At the same time, China Shipbuilding Leasing, a subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Corporation, has also confirmed the fourth order with Hudong Zhonghua. The first order signed by China Shipbuilding Leasing and Hudong Zhonghua in 2022 exercises an option for an additional 174,000 m3 LNG carrier.  The original contract was for two ships, which have been delivered, with an option for a third that is now under construction and this option for a fourth and final ship. The new gas carrier will measure 968 feet in length and is expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2024. The new vessel adopts the latest generation of dual-fuel low-speed propulsion power system to further optimize performance and reduce energy consumption.

Work also began this week on the first 16,000 TEU containership, the largest container ship to be built in southern China under the contract of Guangzhou Shipyard International.

China’s first new ship delivery of 2022, was also the world's first VLGC to use LPG as the main power fuel. The 86,000 m3 ultra-large dual fuel VLGC Gas Capricorn built by Jiangnan Shipyard was delivered to Southwest Maritime. In 2021, CSSC Shipping took delivery of 35 new ships, which Chinese officials reported set a historical record.