Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipyard (SWS) has delivered the first very large crude carrier (VLCC) built to common structural rules (CSR) to Singapore's Ocean Tankers.
The 318,000 dwt Hua San, the first of 11 VLCCs confirmed to Lloyd's Register class at Shanghai Waigaoqiao, was delivered to the owners five months ahead of schedule, ushering in a CSR era that is committed to increase the durability of hull structures for the modern fleet.
The Hua San is the first of an initial order of six VLCCs ordered by Ocean Tankers at Shanghai Waigaoqiao, four of which were classed to Lloyd's Register. The expansion-minded tanker operator last year returned to the yard for another order of three VLCCs, with three options, again awarding the class for the confirmed ships to Lloyd's Register.
Tankers built to CSR, which are applied to new ships contracted on or after 1 April 2006, feature increased strength requirements and more robust fatigue-related construction designed to make them safer and more dependable to operate. CSR design requirements target a vessel life of 25 years under comparatively harsh North Atlantic operational conditions.
The Hua San is also the biggest vessel by weight ever built in China.
'With the growth in demand for crude oil in China showing no sign of abating, it is anticipated that this market will require another 40 to 50 VLCCs in the next five years,' Chen Minjun, president of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipyard, says.
SWS, which saw its annual production almost triple to 3.53 million dwt in four years starting from 2004, has also developed a series of Aframax and Capesize bulkers as well as a 3,000-metre semi-submersible drilling platform and high specification floating production storage and off-loading units.
Lloyd's Register currently has almost 300 bulk carriers on its order book in China.