Belgian tanker company Euronav has announced a partnership to help accelerate the development of new dual fuel ammonia-powered tankers.

The Joint Development Program involves Euronav along with other industry players including Korean shipbuilding Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and classification societies Lloyd’s Register and DNV. The initial term of the program will be three years.

Euronav has also confirmed entering into contracts with HHI for the construction of three Suezmax tankers for a total cost of $199.2 million. The vessels will be delivered in the third quarter of 2023 and first quarter of 2024.

In addition, the company says it has also exercised an option to construct a third LNG-ready VLCC at Hyundai Samho, building on a contract announced in April. Delivery of the VLCC is expected in the second quarter of 2023, following delivery of the first two vessels in Q4 2022 and Q1 2023, respectively.

Euronav said the timing of the newbuildings will be staggered to allow “all parties involved to make concrete progress towards the development of ammonia-fitted tankers.”

“Shipping is entering an era of rapid technological developments and increasing environmental efforts demanding strong stewardship,” said Hugo de Stoop, CEO of Euronav. “Working with key partners toward the safe transport and commercialization of new technologies will be instrumental in delivering benefits for the wider marine industry. This partnership will accelerate the development and adoption of ammonia as one of the key solutions in the shipping sector.”

Euronav’s announced added:

Emissions compliance is critical to Euronav’s stakeholders. And with shipbuilding capacity likely constrained for the construction of large crude tankers until at least 2025, Euronav believes this will deliver the company a competitive advantage within its already established sustainability structure.

Source : gcaptain