Taking a first step forward in building its own LNG shipping vessel, Cochin Shipyard Ltd. (CSL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GTT (Gaztransport & Technigaz), a world leader in design and engineering of containment systems for maritime transportation and storage of LNG.

Under the MoU, GTT will provide a license after successfully completing the GTT qualification process, including membrane tank mock-up installation to CSL. The shipyard is the first in India to be licensed by GTT.

Commodore K Subramaniam, Chairman and Managing Director of CSL, said CSL will be licensed by GTT for the construction of LNG carriers using GTT’s membrane containment systems.

Obtaining this technology has made a significant positive change to the technical competence and stature of the shipyard, it is claimed. Going forward, it is felt that this technology would help the yard to tap the huge shipbuilding prospects in the LNG vessel segment, Subramaniam added.

The French company holds patented technology for building LNG ships. No Indian shipyard has made an LNG carrier yet, which costs over $200m (around Rs 1,326 crore).

Locally built LNG ships are expected to be priced less as it is a profitable sector for shipyards.

In the scope of an energy transition towards cleaner energy, such as LNG, India will need LNG carriers equipped with the latest technologies; it is thought that India will require up to 40 LNG carriers by 2025 to transport the fuel.