HGK Shipping orders extra-wide inland gas tanker

German shipping and logistics company HGK Shipping has ordered a gas tanker of unconventional dimensions from the Dutch shipyard De Gerlien Van Tiem.

The new gas tanker is designed to be extra-wide and capable of dealing with shallow water levels as well as being powered by a diesel-electric drive system.

According to HGK, the unconventional dimensions guarantee a particularly high load capacity, even if water levels are low. The GAS 96, as it is called, has been developed in line with the requirements of two “large chemical companies” in the Netherlands and Germany.

The vessel, which will be the third gas tanker in the company’s fleet, will guarantee supplies to both companies from 2025 onwards as part of a long-term charter arrangement.

When constructed, the vessel will have a large load capacity of 300 tonnes even if the draught is only 1.20 metres. That separates the vessel, which is 110 metres in length and 15 metres in width, from everything else operating on the river Rhine up to now. The maximum load capacity is more than 2,500 tonnes.

“The design ideally combines the pattern of the GAS 94 and that of mega-barges, which have already enabled us to prove that we can transport unusual dimensions along inland waterways efficiently and reliably,” says Anke Bestmann, the managing director of HGK Gas Shipping.

The new gas tanker will go into service during the fourth quarter of 2025. The hull will be manufactured at a shipyard in Eastern Europe while the final structural work will take place at the De Gerlien Van Tiem shipyard in Druten, Netherlands.

The drive system is also designed to be future-fuel-ready and can be retrofitted to accommodate alternative drive and fuel systems. The entire loading system on the new vessel will also be prepared to transport ammonia.

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