Shell Tankers (Singapore) has signed new charter agreements with Knutsen LNG, Pan Ocean and investors advised by JP Morgan Asset Management for an additional six liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels.

The move will expand Shell’s newbuild LNG carrier fleet to include a total of 24 vessels.

Previously, the company announced long term charters for eight ships of the same class in December 2019, six in August 2020 and another four in December of the same year.

Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries will be building the new 174,000cbm LNG ships. The deliveries are scheduled for 2023.

Shell Shipping and Maritime global head Grahaeme Henderson said: “These ships will be some 35% more efficient than required by the energy efficiency design index (EEDI) and 20% more than required by the annual efficiency ratio (AER), delivering significant emission reductions for our time charter fleet.

“Working with partners across shipping sectors is key to achieving our ambition to help accelerate the industry’s progress towards net-zero emissions.”

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Under the company’s time-charter fleet, the performance of each vessel will be enhanced by assessing real-time data from the ships.

The vessels will also feature Shell’s draft and trim optimisation software JAWS to minimise emissions and increase efficiency.

Similar to the other vessels of this class ordered by Shell, the ships will incorporate the latest industry safety practices, such as MEG4-compliant moorings.

Furthermore, the ships will be equipped with dual-fuel X-DF engines, air lubrication systems, boil-off management plants and shaft generators for supplementary power.

In April, it was reported that Shell is planning to explore the viability of using hydrogen as a marine fuel for ships in Singapore.