Chinese Shipbuilding Rebounds Including Innovative VLCC Designs

Chinese shipbuilding VLCC tankers
China is prmoting the new tanker as one of the most efficient VLCCs (China Classification Society)

Published Jul 19, 2021 8:17 PM by The Maritime Executive

As the newbuild market continues to heat up with orders running strongly ahead of recent years, Chinese officials are promoting their successes with orders up over 200 percent in 2021 and advancements in new ship designs such as in the VLCC segment. They are reporting the delivery of a vessel, which they are promoting as one of the most energy efficient VLCCs ever built, along with an effort underway to build the first LNG-fueled VLCC.

The 307,000 dwt CS Hunan Venture was delivered by the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Group during a naming ceremony in late June. The vessel, which is owned by China Shipbuilding Consulting Company and operated by Wah Kwong Ship Management Hong Kong, is being billed as one of the most advanced and energy efficient VLCCs ever built in China.

The ship was designed with energy-saving features, including a straight bow design, and it is equipped with a new type of main engine, a 7G80ME-C9.5 made by Dalian Marine Diesel. It also employs a large-diameter, high-efficiency propeller, and a propeller energy-saving device developed by DSIC. The tanker is also equipped with an open scrubber.

“This is a new highly competitive ground-breaking generation of ship design for the newbuild market,” said Fan Qiang, Vice President of the China Classification Society.  The society said that it conducted extensive surveys during the construction process. They reported that the CS Hunan Venture’s innovative design ensured that its Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) is more than 20 percent below the baseline, which makes it one of the best in the world for VLCCs of the same size. 

The CS Hunan Venture is 1,092 feet in length with a 197-foot beam. It has a capacity of two million barrels of crude oil and a cruising range of more than 26,000 nautical miles. With a design draft of 67 feet, it can transit the Strait of Malacca. 

CCS President Mo Jianhui highlighted another major VLCC-related project CCS is also working on with DSIC. Due to be delivered at the end of 2021, is an order for an LNG dual-fuel VLCC, that they are promoting as the first LNG dual-fuel VLCC in the world.

“CCS continues to ramp up its scientific research and innovation capabilities and is jointly developing many VLCC ship types with major Chinese shipyards,” he said noting that they are focusing work on energy conservation, environmental protection, and intelligent shipping. In particular, CCS is cooperating with shipyards and manufacturers of LNG bunkering tanks and fuel gas supply systems, undertaking drawing approvals, risk assessments, and site surveys.” CCS now has more than 100 VLCC ships classed in its fleet.

Chinese officials also promoted the strength of the country’s shipbuilding orderbook. Data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology highlights that China received 51 percent of the new shipbuilding orders in the first half of 2021 while delivering 49 percent of the new ships completed in 2021, or a total of 20.9 million dwt. They reported that Chinese shipbuilders received orders for 38.24 million dwt in 2021 bring the total backlog to 86.6 million dwt, up 13.1 percent year-on-year.