HGK Shipping places an order for a new gas tanker with special dimensions

Optimised to deal with shallow water levels, a diesel-electric drive system and an extra-wide design for the vessel – these are the main features of the next gas tanker that HGK Shipping ordered from the Dutch shipyard, De Gerlien Van Tiem on 15 September.

The latest addition to the fleet will once again enable the inland shipping company based in Duisburg to set a new benchmark for the sector.

The unconventional dimensions guarantee a particularly high load capacity, even if water levels are low.

The “GAS 96” has been developed in close cooperation in line with the requirements of two large chemicals companies in the Netherlands and Germany. The vessel is set to guarantee supplies to both companies from 2025 onwards as part of a long-term charter arrangement.

The “GAS 96” is already the third gas tanker for HGK Shipping, which combines extremely favourable shallow water conditions with a diesel-electric engine.

The company is therefore using this to continue its strategic programme of new vessels to provide innovative and sustainable inland waterway shipping services.

HGK Shipping was the first company to introduce this combination with an alternative drive system in gas tanker shipping. The latest gas tanker was also fully developed at the company’s own Design Center and this included an appropriate feasibility study.

The combination of a large load capacity of 300 tonnes, even if the draught is only 1.20 metres, with a vessel that is 110 metres long and 15 metres wide distinguishes it from everything else that has been operating on the river Rhine up to now. The maximum load capacity is more than 2,500 tonnes.

“The concept and the design of the ‘GAS 96’ are once again consistently geared towards the challenging requirements of the customer with regard to sustainability and having reliable supplies. 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,” said Anke Bestmann, managing director of HGK Gas Shipping GmbH.

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

The engine output made available will be ideally adapted to the power requirements and this will therefore reduce the fuel consumption and the waste gas emissions.

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 possibly transport the hydrogen derivative, ammonia, and it will therefore enable both the charterer and HGK Shipping to cover future transport needs that emerge in connection with the energy revolution.