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    French GTT Sees Busy LNGC Order Book


Despite the apparent economic and environmental headwinds, the technology firm is doing brisk business, an executive tells NGW.

by: William Powell

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NGW Interview, Natural Gas & LNG News, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Premium, Technology

French GTT Sees Busy LNGC Order Book

French LNG tanker specialist GTT has won more contracts this month for its technology, which is widely used in the newbuild sector. Nearly all of the orders are of the 170,000-180.000 m³ range and many are linked to the Russian LNG projects, through the clients such as the Zvezda shipyard.

Commercial vice-president David Colson told NGW July 10 that this hull form “fits the worldwide terminals which will receive the vessels (length, breadth, turning circle, and so on). The vessels can also go through the Panama Canal. You may remember that the QFlex and QMax [of 216,000m³ and 266,000 m³ capacity respectively, mostly operated by Qatar] have some restrictions.

“A 174,000 m³ vessel will give a delivered volume of between 165,000-170,000 m³, depending on the voyage, which appears to be the "parcel size" being negotiated today. The unit freight cost per mile seems to be the best, especially for Gulf of Mexico to Asia/Europe. For Yamal, the vessels are actually 172,000 m³ as they are heavier (ice-breakers and strong winterisation).

Future is bright despite dearth of FIDs

Commenting on the prospect of a relative drought on the horizon for order books, Colson said: “2019 was a record year for final investment decisions (FID) with more than 70mn metric tons of LNG capacity launched. Shipping for these volumes will be required from the start of 2024, so the short-term outlook is good. No further FID's in 2020 is not a major cause for concern as the outlook for gas and LNG demand is still strong and future FID's are necessary to meet this projected demand.

“The Qatar North Field Expansion project is still looking like it will go forward next year, which will require shipping deliveries up to 2027 under current information."

Following the transition

He said the company was also moving with the low-carbon times, and developing the necessary new equipment. “On decarbonisation, GTT's mission statement is to accompany the energy transition. Specifically for our designs of tanks for LNG carriers, GTT has managed to divide by two the daily evaporation (natural boil-off) of LNG from the tanks by improvements in insulation performance.

“As engines have become more efficient (MEGI and XDF), GTT has managed to maintain the amount of boil-off from the tanks at the same level as that required by the engines to propel the vessels, thereby minimising the risk of any wastage (recourse to reliquefaction equipment and/or flaring) and helping reduce carbon emissions. GTT will continue to improve performance in this way. 

"We do not consider that there is a drift away from gas as such, but more a search for improvements in gas consumption, replacement of coal and oil, and a wish to consider new carbon-free fuels. Gas will continue to maintain a share of the fuel mix in the medium to long term. GTT, of course, is considering designs for containing liquid ammonia and liquid hydrogen."

GTT will present its first-half results July 30. For the first quarter, revenues were up 74% at €102.5 ($116)mn.