Stolt: exercising options (file image/pixabay)
Gas and chemical carrier Stolt-Nielson has ordered two more liquified natural gas (LNG) tankers to be built in Singapore.
The firm ordered two ships in May and has exercised two out of three options it had in the contract from that time.
The ships will be LNG-fuelled and able to undertake bunkering operations.
Stolt has formed an LNG joint venture with Golar LNG and Höegh LNG Holdings called Avenir LNG.
The jv is aimed at the small-scale LNG logistics for the power, bunkering, trucking and industrial markets, according to a recent Stolt earnings release.
It will be used to fund the "construction of six, small-scale LNG carriers, a small-scale storage terminal and regasification facilities".
LNG is increasingly being seen as a viable alternative to oil-derived marine fuel. However, the main constraint on its growth in the shipping space is a lack of infrastructure.
Europe will be most likely be the biggest market for LNG-fuelled ships in the years ahead, observers believe.