China Merchants places order for methanol-fuelled VLCC

China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) has placed an order for the world’s first methanol dual-fuel very large crude carrier.

CMES said in August that it would be ordering a methanol dual-fuel VLCC at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co (DSIC). The ordered ship will have a 306,000 dwt and cost around $107.5m, an exceptionally cheap price given that brokers today are quoting $128m for standard fueled VLCC orders.

The Chinese firm previously stated in a stock exchange filing that the newbuild would be delivered by April 2026.

The two have been partners since 2007 and have signed orders for more than 30 large ships worth around $5bn and with a combined deadweight tonnage of some 10m tons.

CMES has a fleet of 52 VLCCs, but this will not be the company’s first move on methanol newbuilds, as it has large methanol-powered vehicle carriers set to deliver from China Merchants Industry Holdings in the second half of 2025, while aframax tankers booked at Dalian in May will come with methanol-ready notation when delivered in 2026.