France-based Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) has entered a technical assistance and licence agreement with Chinese shipyard Yangzijiang for the development of vessels deploying GTT membrane technologies.

Having taken the first validation steps in March, Yangzijiang has now concluded the GTT qualification process.

The shipyard has received an order for four 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) dual-fuelled container ships from Pacific International Lines (PIL).

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel tanks of these vessels will be equipped with GTT’s membrane technology.

Each fuel tank will include Mark III membrane containment technology as well as other features that will help the vessels convert to ammonia fuel in the future.

The four vessels are expected to be delivered in each quarter of 2025.

GTT chairman and CEO Philippe Berterottière said: “We are honoured to be working with such international renowned partner. Yangzijiang team have demonstrated their determination by obtaining our license in record time.     

“In a tight market, this new partnership will provide new shipbuilding capacities to meet current demand. We look forward to a long and successful collaboration with our new partner.”

In July, GTT secured approvals in principles (AiPs) from DNV for the design of a membrane-type containment system for liquefied hydrogen (LH₂) and the preliminary concept design of an LH₂ carrier.

The AiPs are part of an agreement that was signed in February with Shell for the development of advanced technologies for the transportation of LH₂.