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The Fairfield Chemical Carriers Group (FCC) has concluded a newbuilding programme with Fukuoka Shipbuilding for the construction of two dual-fuel 26,300 DWT chemical tankers with options for an additional four vessels.

The first two vessels will be delivered in the second half of 2023.

All the vessels will have dual-fuel/LNG propulsion and feature energy reducing improvements to hull design and equipment.They will also be equipped with a smart ship platform to further optimise performance and efficiency.

Anglo Eastern Ship Management – which has experience of dual-fuelled shipping – will be appointed technical manager of the vessels.

FCC said that it was opting for dual-fuel vessels as ‘decarbonisation of operations and reducing CO2 emissions is a top priority’ for the company.

FCC added: ‘In this project, adopting a propulsion system using LNG as a fuel along with smart shipping concepts to enhance fuel consumption, improve vessel routing, and optimize fleet and cargo management are being combined to reduce the environmental footprint of the vessels.’

Todd Clough, President of the group, commented: ‘For 25 years FCC has strived to be an industry leader and innovator. We are pleased to announce that we have contracted these dual-fuel/LNG high specification next generation chemical tanker vessels with Fukuoka Shipbuilding and look forward to putting the units into service in 2023 alongside our existing young and fully stainless steel fleet. The continued strong support of our principal shareholder, Fairfield Maxwell Ltd, allows us to make this significant investment in new vessel technologies. A commitment to acting quickly and meaningfully to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations in advance of reductions mandated under IMO2030 is core to our fleet development strategy.’

Jacob de Vries, the company’s CCO, added: ‘Our customers are increasingly conscious of the necessity to move quickly to reduce CO2 emissions across supply chains and we have been receiving encouragement to bring these next generation ships to market as soon as practical. Of course, a greater investment in the ships is required as we add new propulsion technology, additional tanks, and other operational/design improvements. LNG pricing and bunkering infrastructure on our trade lanes, increased trading flexibility from the new tank layout, cost saving benefits from the new design, and strong demand from our customers will allow FCC to trade the vessels competitively despite the additional initial cost.’

The FCC fleet currently consists of 40 chemical tankers between 19,900 DWT and 26,000 DWT, with an average age of four years.

In addition to the dual-fuel/LNG propelled vessels now ordered, the group has four 19,900 DWT and two 25,000 DWT stainless steel parcel chemical tanker vessels on order with Fukuoka Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. for delivery in the second half of 2021 through to the end of 2022.

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