Japanese shipbuilder Imabari has received a contract from Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) to design and construct two liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.

Under the contract, Imabari will equip the two vessels with the new GTT-developed Mark III Flex containment system, as well as the new MEGI propulsion system.

The Mark III Flex system was designed to fulfil the demand from operators and customers for lower fuel gas requirements, due to the improved efficiency and changed operational practice of LNG carriers.

The system was modified further by GTT to reduce the boil-off rate from 0.15% to 0.10% of the cargo volume per day.

"The Mark III Flex system was designed to fulfil the demand from operators and customers for lower fuel gas requirements."

Delivery of the two LNG carriers is scheduled to take place in 2017.

Following the delivery, the vessels will be operated by Spanish ship owner, Elcano, which has previously operated GTT-designed LNG carriers.

GTT chairman and CEO Philippe Berterottière commented: "We are very pleased to see Imabari resume building GTT-designed LNG carriers."

GTT is engaged in the design of membrane containment systems for the maritime transportation and storage of LNG.

More than 70% of the LNG carrier fleet across the world is currently equipped with membrane technologies, GTT said, noting that it has received orders for 39 LNG carriers with Mark III Flex technology.

GTT’s US subsidiary has received an approval in principle from ship classification society DNV GL, for the design of a 2,200m³ LNG bunker barge.