China, Japan and South Korea shipyards are bidding for three VLGCs and one VLCC

Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) plans to build three new very large gas carriers (VLGCs) and one Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), and has issued bidding invitations to Chinese, South Korean and Japanese shipyards, according to Korean media reports. The three VLGCs are valued at about $300 million.

KOTC has submitted designs for three VLGCs to CSSC’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, as well as Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, according to reports. Also, KOTC has submitted construction plans for a VLCC to CSSC’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding and South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries.

According to the official website, KOTC established in 1957, owns and manages tankers transporting crude oil, refined petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), including 11 VLCCs, 13 product tankers, 5 LPG carriers (all of them VLGCs), and 2 bunker tankers, with the fleet number reaching 31 ships.

The fleet has reached 31 vessels, including 11 VLCCs, 5 LPG carriers (all VLGCs) and 2 bunker tankers. 11 VLCCs were built and delivered by Hanwha Ocean (formerly Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering), HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industries respectively; 13 product tankers were built and delivered by Hyundai Mipo Shipyard and Hanwha Ocean (formerly Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering) respectively; 5 VLGCs were built and delivered by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries; and 2 bunker tankers were built by JSML Shipyard, Singapore.

Based on the above Information, KOTC previously preferred to place shipbuilding orders with Korean shipyards, and it is not yet known whether the newly revealed 2 types and 4 new ships are planned to be contracted by Korean shipyards.

However, according to Korean industry insiders, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries is very likely to win the order for the three VLGCs. The reason is that KOTC and HD Hyundai Heavy Industries have a long history of cooperation, and at present, KOTC already has five VLGCs, all of which are constructed by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries. As for the other VLCC, the Korean industry also has great expectation for HD Hyundai Heavy Industries to receive the order.

It is understood that KOTC is implementing a fleet renewal program and has ordered dozens of new vessels. It is currently in the fourth phase of its fleet renewal program, which will see the ordering of four product tankers in addition to VLGCs and VLCCs.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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