The 7,500m³ vessels are set to feature KC-1 cargo containment systems, which have been developed by KOGAS in collaboration with major Korean shipbuilders, while one of them will also include LNG-bunkering capabilities.
The new small-scale carriers will be deployed to transport LNG from South Korea’s Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do to Jeju Island, and are scheduled to be delivered by May 2019 and December 2019 respectively.
SHI noted that this latest order will facilitate the company's entry into the small-scale LNGCs and LNG-bunkering markets.
The company further stated that recent increase in LNG demand in China and Southeast Asia is expected to boost demand for near-sea transport via small-scale LNGCs.
Clarksons Research estimates that only two small-scale LNGCs under 40,000m³ secured annual contracts between 2006 and 2016, but the number of orders is expected to increase to 70 vessels over the next decade.
Upcoming regulations intended to limit vessels' sulphur oxides (SOx) emission are also expected to increase demand for LNG-fuelled vessels, eventually paving the way for new LNG bunkering vessels.
SHI received a total of $2.3bn worth orders to build a variety of vessels since the start of 2017, including eight tankers, two LNGCs, one LNG-FSRU, and one floating production unit (FPU).
The company previously announced that it had completed a 20,150 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containership for Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) in March.
The vessel is currently the largest ship in the world, with a length of 400m, a breadth of 58.8m and a draft of 32.8m.