South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries launched its first V-Max VLCC or very large crude carrier at its Ulsan shipyard on Thursday.
The V-Max is designed with features to improve existing tanker safety and to offload directly into ports with shallow anchorages.
, an affiliate of Sweden's shipping conglomerate Stena, financed the project, known by the name Stena V-Max, based on an initial three-year charter from
U.S. independent refiner Sun Oil.
The president of Sweden's Concordia Maritime said his company expected to take delivery of a second V-Max VLCC from Hyundai Heavy in July.
Hyundai was awarded the order three years ago to construct the world's first
two Stena V-Max VLCCs, which are designed for a 30-40 year life span.
The actual construction cost of the Stena V-Max VLCC is estimated at around $10 million above that of a normal VLCC of equivalent size. Over the past 10 years, costs of constructing a normal VLCC have varied from $70 million to $100 million.
The purpose of the Stena V-Max VLCC design is that apart from safer transportation of crude oil, the new features will also provide a savings of $.15 to $.30 cents per barrel in transportation costs, as the V-Max would be able to navigate in shallow and narrow waterways.