A final decision on a 12,000-cbm LNG bunker vessel newbuilding for French energy major Total and Singapore’s Pavilion Energy has been postponed until later this month.

Those following the neck-and-neck race for the LNGBV newbuilding, which was due to be decided before the end-year holidays, said the battle is on between two competing shipowners that are each proposing a different technology for the ship.

Competing offers

Japanese owner MOL has put forward a proposal to build a membrane-type vessel at China’s Jiangnan Shipyard, while Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement has made an offer with a design featuring type-C cargo tanks from Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea.

A date of 18 December was floated for a decision on the LNGBV newbuilding, with the two partners originally saying they planned to fast-track the project to secure a fourth quarter delivery date.

In the interim, the vessel's capacity has been jacked up slightly from 10,000 cbm to 12,000 cbm, and yards have said specifications on the ship are high.

But sources said the two parties are now reconsidering their options, including whether to proceed with the project.

June announcement

Total and state-controlled Pavilion emerged with their surprise plan for a team play on a new LNGBV in June.

Under the arrangement, associate Pavilion Gas would charter in the newbuilding. The Singapore LNG outfit and Total would both separately seek customers for the LNGBV.

The vessel would be based in Singapore.

Pavilion, which has secured one of two LNG bunker supplier licences from Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority, and Total already have forged a relationship on their LNG bunkering plans.

The major has signed up to supply Pavilion with LNG as bunkers in the port of Singapore.

In 2017, Total selected MOL to build an 18,600-cbm newbuilding at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) offering a 10-year-plus time charter on the vessel.

Total will use this LNGBV to supply bunkers in northern Europe to CMA CGM’s ultra large containership newbuildings.