Asia Pacific trio opens sixth ship management company for LNG carriers

NYK, China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) and CNOOC Group have established their sixth ship management company for LNG carriers, in Hong Kong, complementing those based in Japan, Singapore, the UK, France, and Taiwan.

Hong Kong office opening ceremony; Source: NYK

NYK, CMES’ subsidiary CMES LNG Shipping Company Limited (CMLNG), and CNOOC’s CETS Investment Management (HK) (CETS) opened the office in Hong Kong on April 18, 2024. Their joint venture, called OPearl, was established in December 2023, after a framework agreement was signed in August 2023.

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The parties agreed to set up six single-ship companies, with each building one LNG carrier which will be leased to CNOOC Gas and Power Singapore Trading & Marketing.

Masami Okubo, NYK LNG Group General Manager, noted: “We are delighted that the three companies have jointly established this ship-management company, and we look forward to further strengthening our relationship with CMLNG and CETS. Through OPearl, together with our partners, we will contribute to the stable transportation of LNG around the world.”

NYK hopes to strengthen its relationship with CMLNG and CETS through the latest partnership, while helping stabilize the world’s energy supply and lower carbon emissions thanks to reliable LNG transportation.

According to CETS -CTLNG Manager, Zhou Yuliang, the trio’s cooperation will be taken to a higher level, as their ships will connect seven seas by providing LNG. CMES President, Wang Yongxin, pointed out that this marks a new stage of cooperation between CMES, NYK, and CETS, and a significant step forward in the LNG arena. 

“OPearl should leverage the knowledge and experience of all shareholders complete industrial chain to continuously enhance its capabilities. The company is encouraged to view this ceremony as a new starting point. With the joint support of all parties, we will work together to build another new feat, with the goal of becoming a world-class shipping enterprise,” added Yongxin.

In addition to LNG, the Japanese player is stepping up its biofuel game. Earlier this week, it embarked on a three-month biofuel test run with its very large crude oil tanker (VLCC) Tenjun. This was preceded by a speech given by Takuya Koizumi, general manager of NYK’s Decarbonization Group, emphasizing the role of biofuel in maritime decarbonization.

NYK also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the ‘world’s first’ biomass-fueled ship’ and the technology that could power it with partners NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers (NBP), Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, and Drax Group.

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