Shell signed agreements to charter 10 new very large crude carriers (VLCCs) powered by dual-fuel LNG engines. Four of the VLCCs have been chartered from Advantage Tankers, three from AET and three from International Seaways. All 10 ships will be built in South Korea by DSME, the first operational from 2022 and be on charter to Shell for seven years.
The main engines and vessel design chosen will mean these tankers have the lowest possible methane slip and highest fuel efficiency including on average 20% less fuel consumption compared to eco VLCC vessels on the water. Shell continues to significantly invest in LNG for its long-term charter fleet with 14 in service by the end of 2021.
“It is imperative that the shipping sector immediately employs the cleanest fuels available. Today and for the foreseeable future, LNG is the choice for new builds to ensure we are not adding heavier emitters into the global fleet while we work hard at developing zero-emissions fuels,” said Grahaeme Henderson, Global Head of Shell Shipping & Maritime. “This significant commitment will see Shell hit a new milestone for our fleet decarbonization with an average of 50% of our crude tankers on time charter powered by dual-fuel LNG engines once in service. There is real urgency to tackle emissions from this sector and adopting LNG while developing zero-emissions fuels options will make a significant difference to cumulative emissions.”
“The vessels have been designed with state-of-the-art technologies and not only achieve a huge reduction in greenhouse gas emissions but are also economically viable. They have a low fuel consumption with their dual-fuel LNG engines and will bring significant benefits to both the charterer and the ship owners over the long-term,” commented Sung Geun Lee, President and CEO of DSME.
Shell plans to double its existing LNG bunkering infrastructure on key international trade routes by the mid-2020s. New LNG bunker vessel orders will bring the global number to 45 by 2023, matching the pace of the anticipated growth in LNG-fueled ships.