Indian state-owned Cochin Shipyard has received licence from France’s Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) to utilise its Membrane Type Technologies in the construction of LNG ships.

GTT awarded the licence for Mark III technology after CSL qualified in the Flex membrane tank mock-up installation test.

CSL is the first Indian shipbuilder to receive the licence.

The Mark III membrane system is a cryogenic liner directly supported by the ship’s inner hull.

This liner is composed of a primary metallic membrane layered on top of a prefabricated insulation panel including a complete secondary membrane.

Mark III is deployed on LNG vessels as the cargo is transported at temperatures as low as -163 degrees.

CSL now plans to compete for the contract to be issued by Indian state-owned gas company Gail for nine LNG vessels. Gail is planning to award 20-year transport contracts to ship the LNG it has purchased from the US. The requirement is for up to eleven ships.

GTT chairman and CEO Philippe Berterottière said: "In the scope of an energy transition towards cleaner energy, such as LNG, India will need LNG carriers equipped with the latest technologies, which GTT will provide."

CSL’s shipyard in the state of Kerala will be upgraded to build LNG ships, in partnership with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

CSL chairman and managing director K Subramaniam said: "Obtaining this technology has made a significant positive change to the technical competence and stature of this yard.

"Going forward, we feel that this technology would help the yard to tap the huge shipbuilding prospects in the LNG vessel segment. Our partnership with SHI has been a critical factor in CSL completing GTT’s stringent qualification requirements."

Image: CSL officials receiving the licence from GTT representatives. Photo: courtesy of GTT.