Friday, December 12, 2014

Japanese Container and Bulk Freight Shipping Line Orders New LNG Vessel

Second Ship of Type for Power Group Charter
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – US – K Line, the Japanese container shipping and bulk freight carrier claims a better knowledge than most about the transport by sea of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), having established a foothold in the fledgling industry over thirty years ago with the delivery of its first LNG tanker, the SS Bishu Maru way back in 1983, since when it claims to have developed both knowledge of the industry and network to suit. The company has now ordered a newbuild ship and says its goal is to develop further in the field and simultaneously develop a more stable earnings structure adopted as part of its newly reformed, medium term management plan ‘Bridge to the Future’.

The company has announced the signing of a long-term Time Charter contract for a new 164,700m3 Moss type (independent spherical tank) LNG carrier to service the needs of the Chubu Electric Power Company and has placed the construction order with Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI). Chubu Electric is involved in the construction as well as the operation of Freeport LNG and this new vessel will engage in the transport of LNG from the project located in State of Texas in the United States.

Construction of the new 293 metre long craft will be undertaken by the KHI Sakaide Shipyard with delivery at the end of 2016. With a beam of 48.9 metres the vessel will use Kawasaki Advanced Reheat Turbine propulsion enabling a maximum speed of 19.5 knots. The gas ‘Boil Off’ rate (BOR), the ratio of natural vaporised gas against maximum tank capacity to indicate capability of tank heat-insulation system, will be 0.08% per day. This is the lowest BOR among all LNG carriers in the world, around half the normal total. K Line has already executed a previous long-term Time Charter contract for a vessel having identical specifications, again with Chubu Electric, in April 2013, and this contract for second vessel is based on a subsequent contract following that for the first vessel.

Photo: Artists impression of the new ship.