MOL names first of six newbuilding LNG carriers at Chinese shipyard

Japan’s shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has held a naming ceremony for a newbuilding liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier at a Chinese shipyard. This vessel and the remaining five in the series will serve CNOOC Gas & Power Singapore Trading & Marketing, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Asian country’s energy heavyweight China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

Naming ceremony for Greenergy Ocean LNG carrier; Source: MOL

Thanks to the deal for six 174,000-cubic-meter LNG vessels from January 2022, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd. (Hudong) inked its largest LNG carrier shipbuilding order at the time, amounting to about 7.5 billion yuan or $1.18 billion.

The following month, the Chinese shipbuilder hired France’s LNG containment specialist GTT for the LNG vessels’ tank design. Once October 2022 rolled in, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding picked TMC Compressors (TMC) to provide the complete marine compressed air system for the ships.

While announcing a naming ceremony for the Greenergy Ocean LNG carrier, which is the first of these six 174,000 cbm ships, MOL explained the significance behind the name by describing ‘Greenergy’ as a coined word combining ‘green’ and ‘energy.’

The Japanese player further elaborates that the combination of the words conveys the desire to contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society through safe, reliable transport of LNG. Upon delivery from Hudong-Zhonghua at the end of May, the vessel will transport LNG procured by the CNOOC Group from all over the world, mainly to China.

Since this is the first vessel to be launched, five more will follow suit as outlined in a long-term charter contract, signed in January 2022, for six new newbuilding LNG carriers, which are jointly owned by MOL, CNOOC, and Cosco Shipping LNG Investment (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. These remaining five vessels are scheduled to be delivered between 2024 and 2026.

MOL has been a busy bee lately. The Japanese firm recently won a long-term time charter party (TCP) agreement for a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) with Poland’s Gaz System, which came shortly after the company put an FSRU in West Java, Indonesia, into operation.

After a previous decarbonization-linked loan bankrolled the construction of an LNG-powered dual-fuel very large crude carrier (VLCC), MOL got its hands on another energy transition-related loan in April.

The company’s coal carrier equipped with the Wind Challenger hard sail wind propulsion system recently tucked a new milestone under its belt with daily fuel savings of up to 17% and 5 to 8% per voyage on average.