Oil and gas major BP is expanding its fleet with six new liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, the company said.
To support the deal the company has joined forces with KMarin and ICBC Leasing, which are investing over USD 1 billion in the tankers.
The new tankers are expected to join BP Shipping’s fleet in 2018 and 2019.
According to the data from VesselsValue, the 173,400 cbm LNG tankers are being built for BP at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) of South Korea. The ships were ordered enbloc in 2014.
The vessels will be employed on a 20-year liquefaction contract with the Freeport LNG facility in Texas, as well as other international LNG projects in BP’s global portfolio.
“These vessels will significantly increase BP’s ability to safely transport LNG to anywhere in the world, directly supporting BP’s global natural gas strategy,” said BP Shipping CEO Susan Dio. “They also will be among the most fuel-efficient and technically advanced LNG tankers ever built.”
— BP America (@BP_America) October 4, 2017
Equipped with next-generation engine technology, the new ships are designed to be about 25 percent more fuel efficient than their predecessors. They also will be fitted with a reliquefaction plant, meaning evaporated natural gas in the cargo tanks can be returned to the tanks as LNG, allowing the ships to deliver more LNG to the market, the company said.
BP has a long-term contract for 230 Trillion BTUs per year of LNG capacity in the Freeport LNG facility. The Freeport LNG liquefaction facility is under construction, and the first train is expected to be operational by the end of 2018.
BP also participates in LNG projects in Australia, UAE, Indonesia, Trinidad and Angola.
The 2017 BP Energy Outlook forecasts that global LNG trade will grow seven times faster than pipeline gas trade, such that by 2035 it accounts for around half of all globally traded gas.