Trafigura to order six 88,000 cbm VLACs

According to Trade Winds, Trafigura is in talks with HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE) for six 88,000 cbm VLACs. The individual ship will cost about $125 million (roughly RMB 896 million), with a total order value of about $750 million (roughly RMB 5.375 billion). Shipbuilding sources said Trafigura has been in talks with HD KSOE for newbuilding projects during 2023 and the two parts has established a “very strong relationship”.

HD KSOE is said to be the only shipyard Trafigura has contacted in the field of gas carriers. Previously, Trafigura had ordered very large liquefied gas carriers (VLGCs) and medium-sized liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers from HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hyundai Mipo Shipbuilding. Neither HD KSOE nor Trafigura has disclosed further details about the six 88,000 cbm VLAC newbuilding program.

On Tuesday (Jan. 23), Trafigura CEO Jeremy Weir said, “The company has made good progress in reducing emissions in shipping and will support the use of clean ammonia fuel. If technically feasible, the company’s fleet will have at least six zero-emission, ammonia-fueled green ships by 2030. We believe that ammonia will be an important low-carbon component of the fuel mix, and the company is co-sponsoring MAN Energy Solutions’ development of ammonia-powered engines for ships.”

Trafigura’s new vessels may only be able to be delivered from 2027 onwards, as early slots at HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries have already been filled, shipbuilding sources say.

Maritime Strategies International, a consulting and research company, believes that the surge in demand for green and blue ammonia over the next 25 years will see shipowners ordering nearly 400 VLACs, compared to the 375 VLGCs currently in the fleet focused on transporting LPG.

Since 2024, global shipowners have placed orders for 15 VLACs with a total value of more than $1.8 billion.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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