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Japanese ship giants place LNG orders

LNG Industry,

Japan’s major shipping companies will order approximately 90 new liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers worth approximately US$ 17.61 billion by 2020, as part of a plan to increase the volume of exports from North America and Australia.

The expansion plans reflect a rising demand for LNG in Japan, which uses the gas to generate electricity. Global LNG trading volume is expected to grow to 400 million t in 2020 from 250 million t in 2012.

Nippon Yusen KK, the leading shipper in Japan, plans to increase the number of LNG carriers from 70 to 100 by 2020.

Mitsui O. S. K. Lines Ltd, Japan’s second largest shipping company, plans to increase the number of its LNG tankers to 110 by 2020, up from approximately 70 now, according to a company spokesman.

The third largest shipping company, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd aims to order approximately 20 new tankers by 2020.

A spokesman from Mitsui O. S. K explained that the company “will place an order only after we sign a long-term contract with our LNG customers who could be producers or buyers”.

One LNG tanker usually costs approximately 20 billion yen, according to industry sources. A Singapore-based shipbroker expected the deal to be financed by Japanese banks, and Japanese shipyards are to be favoured for the orders.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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