Capital and and EPS sign orders for giant ammonia carriers

Written by Nick Blenkey
giant ammonia carriers order by Capital and EPS

88,000 cubic meter eco-friendly very large ammonia carriers (VLACs) will be built by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries. [Image: Capital]

With seaborne carriage of ammonia cargoes predicted to soar, HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering has booked orders to build the world’s first four next-generation 88,000 cubic meter eco-friendly very large ammonia carriers (VLACs). Two of the giant ammonia carrier have been ordered by Evangelos Marinakis’s Piraeus-headquartered Capital Gas Ship Management Corp. and two by Singapore-headquartered Eastern Pacific Shipping.They will be constructed at HD Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan and with deliveries set to start by the second half of 2027.

The vessels distinguish themselves from conventional very large gas carriers in that they are designed with significantly increased ammonia loading capacity in the cargo tanks, allowing them to carry ammonia up to 98% of cargo tank capacity.

Capital Group says the agreement marks another landmark in its “strategic commitment to build a trailblazing fleet that will play a leading role in the global decarbonization effort.” Capital is currently implementing a 59-ship newbuilding program with delivery dates extending to 2027 that includes its recent order for two 22,000 cubic meter liquefied CO2 (LCO2) carriers expected to be delivered in 2025-2026.

order signing ceremony for giant ammonia carriers
Orders for giant 88, 000 cubic meter ammonia carriers were signed by (L to R) Jerry Kalogiratos, CEO, Capital Product Partners L.P.;. S.Y. Park, senior executive vice president/chief operating officer of group ship/offshore marketing division, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and Cyril Ducau, CEO, Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd.

Meantime, Capital Gas, Eastern Pacific and Hyundai have agreed to explore the possibility for the VLAC quartet vessels to be equipped with an ammonia dual-fueled propulsion system, which could reduce the vessels’ carbon footprint to zero.


In a separate but related development, Eastern Pacific, MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES), HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (HHI), and yards from the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) on Wednesday signed agreements to collaborate on the development of an ammonia burning engines that are expected to create a pathway for wide-scale adoption across the maritime industry.

“We have been talking about energy transition and lowering emissions for years. Today, we are ready to talk about zero-emission solutions,” said EPS CEO Cyril Ducau. “The ammonia engines by MAN ES will be an inflection point for the maritime industry. In the next few years, we expect to operate vessels with significantly reduced emissions running on ammonia. Dual-fuel engines like LNG, LPG, and ethane will still play a significant role in various segments. However, with this engine, it will mean that this will be the first time that ocean going vessels will take a significant step towards zero carbon emissions. This is a an extremely exciting time for all of us.”

MAN ES senior vice president and head of two-stroke Bjarne Foldager said, “MAN ES is pleased to be developing these state-of-the-art engines for EPS. This is a significant milestone for MAN ES, EPS, and the maritime industry. Together, we will show that ammonia is a commercially viable option for shipowners and managers to become IMO-compliant years ahead of schedule. MAN ES looks forward to playing its role in creating a cleaner shipping industry by helping our partners substantially lower their carbon footprint.”

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