Rise To Prominence: South Korean Yards Lead The Race In Building LNG Carriers


South Korean yards have completed 500 liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers for export since 1994, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.

Naming Ceremony 

The 174,000-cbm, Orion Spirit, is the 500th LNG tanker to be exported and will be handed over to US-based J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, MOTIE said in a statement.

Samsung Heavy Industries hosted a naming ceremony for the LNG carrier at its Geoje yard on April 19.

VesselsValue data shows that Global Meridian Holdings, part of J.P. Morgan Asset Management, ordered this LNG carrier and three more vessels back in October 2021.

The firm paid about $206 for each of the LNG carriers, much lower than the current average price for a 174,000-cbm LNG carrier in South Korea of about $260-265 million.

Global Leader

MOTIE said in the statement that only nine countries have built LNG tankers up to date.

“There are 680 LNG carriers presently in the water, three-fourths of which were built by Korean shipyards, and construction of another 256 vessels are underway,” it said.

Korean shipyards raked in $13.6 billion worth of global ship orders in the first quarter of 2024, winning 100 percent of total LNG and ammonia carrier orders, MOTIE said.

The majority of the LNG carrier orders in the first quarter are tied to the giant QatarEnergy shipbuilding program.

In February this year, SHI secured orders to build 15 LNG as part of the second phase of the QatarEnergy shipbuilding program, while Hanwha Ocean will build 15 LNG carriers and HD Hyundai Heavy will build 17 LNG carriers.

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Source: LNGprime