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Innovative VLCCs With Air Lubrication and Sail Assist Ordered in China

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Sail assisted tanker - courtesy of China Merchants Energy Shipping Co.

By The Maritime Executive 05-20-2020 03:42:55

China Merchants Shipping and China Shipbuilding completed a virtual contract signing calling for the construction of two innovative VLCCs. The new 307,000 DWT vessels will be part of China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) ongoing expansion and will be the 99 and 100 vessels built at the China Shipbuilding’s Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Company (DSIC).

The first of the two new VLCCs ordered will incorporate an air lubrication system. While the technology has been employed on a range of vessels, according to China Shipbuilding it will be the first time it has been installed on a VLCC. The second of the two vessels will adopt a new generation independently developed sail propulsion system.

The order is part of an ongoing relationship between the two organizations. The current VLCC order is in addition to four VLCCs that CMES ordered from China Shipbuilding in December 2019.

In previous projects, CMES and DSIC have developed innovative designs, including the first sail-assisted vessel, two extra-large smart crude oil tankers, and the first crude oil tanker with a verified desulfurization system. According to a press release, the two companies continue to cooperate in low-carbon, green and smart technologies using an industry-college-institute cooperation approach to continuously boot the technical advantage in extra-large oil tankers and high-quality growth for the shipping industry.  

China Merchants operates and manages China’s oldest ocean-going oil tanker fleet and is a leading supertanker fleet operator in Greater China. The Big Ship Group at DSIC has received a total of 30 large ships orders from China Merchants, including two 110,000-ton product oil tankers, five 180,000-ton bulk carriers, and 23, 300,000-ton ultra-large crude oil ships. At present, 26 ships have been successfully delivered and four are under construction.