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Monday, July 12, 2021 

Antwerp-based tanker company Euronav says it is to embark on a three-year Joint Development Programme (JDP) with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and classification societies Lloyd’s Register and DNV, to help accelerate the development of dual fuel ammonia (NH3) fitted VLCC and Suezmax vessels.

Hugo de Stoop, CEO Euronav, said: “Shipping is entering an era of rapid technological developments and increasing environmental efforts demanding strong stewardship. Working with key partners toward the safe transport and commercialisation of new technologies will be instrumental in delivering benefits for the wider marine industry. This partnership will accelerate the development and adoption of ammonia as one of the key solutions for the shipping sector.”

Since the beginning of the year, Euronav has invested significantly in its fleet. The Company has acquired two Suezmaxes through resale of contracts and has taken over an early berth from owners unable to execute the contracts for the construction of two VLCCs.

Recently, Euronav entered into new contracts for the building of three more Suezmaxes and that is has exercised the option to build a third VLCC as per the Company’s

announcement made on 22 April 2021. All these newbuildings will be delivered in a staggered timing, enabling all parties involved to make concrete progress towards the development of ammonia-fitted tankers.

Every vessel ordered is part of a fleet rejuvenation programme aiming to outperform any other existing vessels in terms of fuel consumption and emissions, and in particular the older vessels that will be phased out of the fleet. The newbuilds will feature a gradual and increasing degree of readiness to be converted into dual fuel fully fitted ammonia ships at a later stage, while retaining the possibility to convert them into dual fuel LNG vessels if it would make more commercial sense.

The three firm Suezmaxes, contracted for a total cost of US$ 199.2m, will be delivered in the third quarter of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024. Delivery for the option VLCC will be the second quarter of 2023.

In today’s fast changing and volatile environment, Euronav states it is important to remain flexible and at the same time contribute to the global effort of reducing greenhouse gas emissions which is key to its own economic sustainability.

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