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October 28, 2011

MOL, Osaka Gas Subsidiary Sign Construction Deal for 2 LNG Carriers; LNG Transport Agreement with Osaka Gas

TOKYO - Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Koichi Muto) today announced that MOL and Osaka Gas International Transport Inc. (OGIT; President: Yuichi Funahashi), subsidiary of Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. (President: Hiroshi Ozaki), have agreed on a plan to co-own two newbuilding LNG carriers. The agreement also includes a contract with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (MHI) to build the new vessels, which will be co-owned by MOL and OGIT. At the same time, MOL and Osaka Gas concluded a long-term LNG transport contract.

The new vessels are slated for launching in 2014 and 2015. MOL will manage and operate the ships, which will sail under a 20-year contract with Osaka Gas.

The 153,000m3(*1) class carriers will be the first in the world to feature a continuous tank cover for Moss spherical tanks integrated into the ship's hull. Housing the four spherical LNG storage tanks under a continuous cover reduces weight while maintaining the ship's overall strength. This will improve fuel efficiency. The adoption of a new steam turbine engine that features a system to capture and use reheating steam also contributes to higher fuel efficiency.

The new vessels' high fuel efficiency will contribute to reduce CO2 emissions, and the use of natural gas as fuel will reduce sulfur oxide emissions. They will also adopt a ballast water treatment system (*2), to protect marine ecosystems, and are corresponding to according to the Ship Recycle Treaty (*3), which will minimize environmental impact during scrapping and dismantling when their service lives end.

MOL strives to "offer transport solutions with a lower environmental burden" as one of the environmental strategies set out in the midterm management plan, "GEAR UP ! MOL". The company continually takes a proactive stance in providing LNG transport services that perfectly meet customer needs, backed by decades of experience and know-how as one of the world's largest owners and operators of LNG carriers.

*1 The total capacity of the four LNG tanks is 155,000m3.

*2 Ballast water is seawater pumped on board a ship to stabilize it when no cargo is loaded, and then discharged when the cargo is loaded. The transport of ballast water can disrupt local marine ecosystems because vessels serving international routes move marine organisms from one region to another. An international treaty on ballast water management will establish requirements that ballast water be purified before discharge.

*3 A treaty aimed at reducing the risk of environmental pollution and injuries to workers is currently in development. It will require an inventory of harmful substances contained in the vessel, along with their locations, to ensure safe dismantling and recycling of vessels at the end of their useful lives.

[Outline of newbuilding LNG carrier]

  • Length: About 288.0m
  • Breadth: 48.94m
  • Draft: 11.55m
  • LNG storage tank: Stretched Moss-type independent spherical type
  • Gross tonnage: 138,000 tons
  • Deadweight capacity: 75,000 tons
  • Main engine: Reheat type steam turbine
  • Speed: 19.5 knots
  • Shipyard: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
  • Ship management company: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.
  • Launch: 2014 (first vessel), 2015 (second vessel)
  • Names: To be announced

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