Finnish technology group Wärtsilä and South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) have signed an agreement to develop efficient solutions for LNG carrier and shuttle tanker vessels.

The joint development project (JDP) agreement is aimed at overall cost optimisation, including both CAPEX and OPEX, and will build on the sharing of knowledge and experience between Wärtsilä and SHI.

The agreement gives opportunities for important co-creation and will benefit both the companies and the industry as a whole.

Wärtsilä Marine Processing Solutions vice-president Timo Koponen said: “At Wärtsilä, we are committed to creating greater efficiencies, better environmental sustainability, and improved safety for our customers.

“SHI is a major high-tech, high-value shipbuilder with a number one newbuilding share in various vessel markets. We are, therefore, delighted to be partnering with them in a project that will ultimately benefit owners and operators around the world.”

Strong LNG carrier newbuilding market prompted the companies to sign the JDP.

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Wärtsilä said that potentially there are new vessels to be ordered for transporting increasing volumes of LNG from new and extended export LNG terminals in Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and the US.

“We are committed to creating greater efficiencies, better environmental sustainability, and improved safety.”

Wärtsilä has also opened a new diving centre facility in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to strengthen its underwater-related servicing capabilities.

The company’s member, Trident, undertook the expansion. Wärtsilä will be able to serve its global customers with underwater repairs, refurbishments and maintenance.

Last month, Wärtsilä signed an agreement with Saudi Arabian tug operator Marine Service Company (MSCL) to provide maintenance services that are expected to ensure optimal performance and availability of the vessels.