Fortitude Shipping, a handysize carrier subsidiary of gas shipowner and trader Petredec, has placed an order at China’s Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering (CIMC SOE) for up to four ethane/ethylene capable vessels.
The London-headquartered unit has struck a deal for two firm 24,000 cu m vessels for delivery in March and July 2026, with the option to build a further two units.
The owner of the second largest fleet of very large gas carriers (VLGCs), made up of around 30 modern vessels, unveiled Fortitude in November last year with an 11-strong fleet between 21,000 cu m and 22,500 cu m and an average age of four years.
The order will further reduce the average age of Fortitude’s fleet, which, according to Petredec, is already the youngest and most fuel-efficient within the sector.
Commenting on the deal, Petredec chief executive Giles Fearn said: “Petredec is delighted to establish a relationship with CIMC SOE and to consolidate Fortitude’s leading market share by expanding its ethane/ethylene-capable fleet. The ethane/ethylene sector is well positioned to benefit from the favourable fundamental tailwinds of strong, visible export capacity expansion in the US Gulf Coast and restricted fleet growth over the next five years.”
The first two vessels will be named Emblematic and Eleanor after the winners of two of the most famous horse races in the world, the Grand National and the Epsom Derby.