Photo: MOL

MOL plans to splash $722 million on new cruise ship duo

Japanese shipping giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has revealed its intention to purchase two ocean-going cruise ships for around ¥1 100 billion ($722 million).

As informed, the ships will have 35,000 tonnes and will sail under the Japanese flag. The first vessel is expected to be delivered around 2027. The company is yet to decide which shipbuilding company will construct the vessels.

The move is part of the MOL’s effort to capture domestic and international cruise demand, which has less linkage to shipping market fluctuations and is expected to expand in the future.

The company also emphasized that it is strengthening its non-shipping business in line with the Portfolio Strategy set out in the management plan, Rolling Plan 2022.

In the FY2022 management plan, MOL wants to support the improvement of its three business strategies (portfolio strategy, environmental strategy, and regional strategy), organizational strength, and workstyle reforms, and lists it as a priority item.

Furthermore, the company pledged to continue working on the reduction of GHG emissions from its own business operations, contribute to the decarbonization of energy, and strive to establish a supply chain of green fuels.

Currently, MOL’s division Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Lines, Ltd. (MOPAS) offers cruise services onboard cruise ship Nippon Maru. The 167-meter-long vessel went through several upgrades since its delivery in 1990.

In April this year, the Japanese heavyweight announced its plans to deploy about 110 net-zero ocean going vessels by 2035.

As part of the company’s target to promote wide adoption of clean energy, the Japanese carrier also intends to deploy 90 liquefied natural gas- (LNG) powered vessels by 2030, excluding LNG carriers, MOL’s latest sustainability plan shows.

To achieve the decarbonization targets, the company will promote the development of relevant technology such as ammonia-fueled and hydrogen-fuelled vessels, liquefied hydrogen carriers, CO2 carriers, etc. in FY2022.

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Recently, MOL joined forces with compatriot shipping major Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) and energy giant JERA on the transportation of fuel ammonia for the Hekinan Thermal Power Plant, expected to begin commercial operation in the late 2020s.

The three companies signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to examine ways of developing large-volume ammonia carriers and establishing safe transport systems.

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