MOL orders six LNG-fueled ships

Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has placed an order for four Capesize bulkers and two Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC) powered by LNG as their main fuel, cementing its efforts in having 90 LNG fueled ships by 2030.

The four 210,000 DWT-class Capesize bulkers will be built by CSSC Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Co. It is MOL’s first time ordering a newbuilding vessel from this shipyard. The bulkers are slated for delivery in succession from 2025 through 2026.

MOL VLCC design; Source: MOL
bulker design
MOL bulker design; Source: MOL

Separately, MOL has signed a construction contract with compatriot Kawasaki Heavy Industries for two 309,000 DWT-class VLCCs. The VLCC vessels will be built by Dalian COSCO KHI Ship Engineering Co., headquartered in Dalian, China.

The yard is jointly operated by KHI and China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited, and this contract is the company’s first LNG-fueled VLCC ordered from a Japanese tanker operator. The VLCCs are scheduled for delivery from 2025 through 2026.

The Japanese heavyweight has ordered 16 ocean-going LNG-fueled vessels which include Capesize bulkers, VLCCs, car carriers, and six coastal vessels (ferries, a tugboat, and coastal cargo vessel.) The move is part of MOL’s decarbonization vision which includes the adoption of LNG-fueled vessels as a transition toward the aim of becoming net zero by 2050.

One of the most recent orders saw MOL book construction of four 7,000-unit capacity car carriers that will run on LNG as their main fuel. Nihon Shipyard and Shin Kurushima Dockyard were hired for the job. The deal brings the company’s total orders for LNG-fueled car carriers to eight.

The car carriers are scheduled for delivery in succession, from 2024 to 2025.

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The push will see MOL continue to widen the use of LNG fuel as an initiative that it can take now. Moving forward, the company expects that ammonia and hydrogen as fuel would be widely available for its ships in 2035, and that it would be able to shift from LNG to synthetic methane by 2050.