The Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC) has awarded a contract to South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to build three Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGC), as part of the state-owned company’s plan to upgrade its fleet and transport capacity.

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation subsidiary KOTC awarded a $213.36m deal to HHI to build the 3 VLGCs, with each tanker costing around $71.12m.

The first VLGC is to be built and delivered to KOTC by the end of 2019, raising the count of the Kuwaiti company’s fleet of gas tankers to 31.

HHI, the world’s biggest shipbuilder by orders, will build the carriers for KOTC at its shipyard in Ulsan, about 410 kilometres southeast of Seoul, as per environmentally-friendly and maritime safety standards, the companies have said.