Global oil and gas producer BP is set to take delivery of six new tankers with an aim to expand its existing fleet of liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping vessels.
BP has also collaborated with its finance partners KMarin and ICBC Leasing to secure an investment of more than $1bn for the new tankers.
The tankers will feature next-generation engine technology and are expected to be around 25% more fuel efficient than their predecessors.
They will be equipped with a reliquefaction plant, which will enable the evaporated natural gas in the cargo tanks to return to the tanks as LNG and allow the ships to deliver more LNG to the market.
BP Shipping CEO Susan Dio said: “These vessels will significantly increase BP’s ability to safely transport LNG to anywhere in the world, directly supporting BP’s global natural gas strategy.
“They also will be among the most fuel-efficient and technically advanced LNG tankers ever built.”
Scheduled to be delivered by 2018 and 2019, the tankers will support a 20-year liquefaction contract with Freeport LNG facility in Texas, US, and other international LNG projects of BP.
BP is under a long-term contract to produce 230 trillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) per year of LNG in the Freeport LNG facility, which is currently under construction and expects to operate its first train by the end of next year.
The company has also taken part in various in LNG projects in Australia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, Trinidad and Angola.