Iran plans construction of hi-tech LNG carriers

Iran has signed preliminary agreements with shipbuilders from South Korea, Germany and China for the construction of high-tech liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, as the country aims to become a leading exporter of LNG, a report said.

“A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with a respectable German company which possesses the technology to build LNG tankers. Preliminary accords have also reached with several South Korean and Chinese firms,” Esmaeil Sadeqi, project manager, was quoted as saying in the Iran Daily report, citing Press TV.

Based on the plan, foreign shipbuilders would help Iran construct LNG carriers in shipyards along its Gulf coasts, he added.

Iran has already prepared two dry docks in Bandar Abbas to design and build natural gas delivery vessels, Sadeqi said.

He noted that the possibility of building LNG tankers and Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) exists in the country. Hence, the planning to set up grounds for the construction of LNG vessels in cooperation with a foreign company.

Iran’s sprawling shipbuilding industry is chiefly devoted to constructing oil tankers and container ships as well as other maritime structures. The country owns the world’s largest fleet of oil supertankers consisting of 42 VLCCs, each able to carry 2 million barrels of oil. Said the report.

For LNG tankers, however, there is no established infrastructure and the country has to start from scratch. Sadeqi said, through transfer of technology, we can begin constructing LNG carriers which involves a complex technology.