Naftomar Places $500 Million Order for Large Ammonia Carriers from Hanwha
Greece’s Naftomar Shipping is making a big bet on ammonia placing an order with Hanwha Ocean for four of the largest ammonia carriers yet to be built. The South Korean shipbuilder is calling it the world’s largest order for ammonia carriers and a signal for the future of shipping.
Established in Beirut, Lebanon in 1972 as a trading house, Naftomar originally concentrated on the distribution of petroleum products in the Mediterranean region before developing as one of the leaders in liquid petroleum gas (LPG) shipping starting with its first vessel in the late 1970s. Today, the company has a fleet of 23 vessels, 18 of which are gas carriers. The company has been moving to expand its fleet focusing on the opportunities in gas carriers.
Naftomar placed an order for four of the world’s largest gas carriers due to be delivered between late 2026 and the first half of 2027. The vessels will have a capacity to transport 93,000 cbm of ammonia. Hanwha Ocean reports the price is approximately $500 million for the four ships. They will be built at the company’s Geoje plant in South Korea.
Hanwha Ocean highlights that the vessels will be delivered ammonia-ready meaning they will be able to convert to ammonia propulsion in the future if Naftomar opts to proceed to the fuel after it becomes readily available to the maritime industry. In addition, the ships will be equipped with the HS4 (Hanwha SmartShip Solution & Service), a smart ship platform designed to operate an ammonia-powered vessel. The newbuilds will also have other energy-saving features including shaft generators.
Hanwha Ocean looks to build on its experience with current gas carriers to lead with new classes of ships (NH3 carrier concept Hanwha Ocean)
The order is a significant step for Hanwha Ocean, the former Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, which is investing in future ship technology. The company looks to build on its experience in LPG and LNG carriers to move into new areas including ammonia and liquified CO2 shipping.
Hanwha made ammonia carriers one of the highlighted designs displayed at the recent Gastech conference. They were featuring a design for an 86,000 cbm ammonia carrier. The shipbuilder received basic design approval, an AiP, from French register BV in September and a similar design approval from Lloyd’s Register in October for the ammonia carrier.
Earlier this year, Eastern Pacific Shipping placed an order in China for four large ammonia carriers which are also expected to begin delivery in 2026. The shipbuilding industry is beginning to book orders for the class of ships and is anticipating delivery of the first ammonia-fueled engines possibly as early as next year.