Belgium-based ship owner Exmar has ordered eight LPG carriers at South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard .

Each of the vessels will have a capacity 38,000 m³ and will be delivered from the first quarter of 2014 onwards.

Exmar finance chief Miguel de Potter was quoted by asiasis saying that the initial order will include four vessels at a cost of $50m apiece and says the transaction "may evolve" as negotiations continue in the coming weeks.

"We are very bullish on the midsize LPG segment as these vessels can transport both ammonia and LPG," Potter said.

The vessels’ hull will be optimised to reduce resistance in water and offer savings in CO2 emissions as well as fuel consumption.

Keeping in view of the upcoming amendments in environmental legislation, the vessels will be equipped with ballast water treatment system to minimise transfer of harmful aquatic organisms.

The funnel design of the ship will allow installation of a scrubber that reduces sulphur air emissions, while the engine room and deck design will be designed so that it can use LNG or LPG as fuel to reduce CO2, SOx and NOx air emissions.

Exmar said the addition of the vessels into its fleet will strengthen company’s existing midsize fleet of vessels.

The company operates and manages a fleet of about 30 vessels with its midsize vessel segment comprises more than half of its fleet, raging between 24,000 – 40,000 m³, VLGCs 80,000 m³ and pressurised vessels 3,500 – 5,000 m³.

Exmar’s LPG/NH³ division is involved in the transportation of liquid petroleum gas, butane, propane, anhydrous ammonia and chemical gases.