TOKYO: Japan’s top shippers plan to order around 90 new liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers worth about 1.8 trillion yen ($17.61 billion) by 2020 as they gear up to transport rising volumes of the super chilled fuel from North America and Australia.
The expansion plans reflect rising LNG demand in nuclear-free Japan to generate electricity and also in other Asian countries such as China and South Korea. Global LNG trading volume is expected to grow to 400 million tonnes (1.1023 ton) in 2020 from 250 million tonnes in 2012, according to industry data.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., Japan’s second-largest shipping company, plans to increase the number of its LNG carriers to 110 by 2020 from about 70 now, a spokesman said.
Nippon Yusen KK, the No.1 shipper in the country, plans to raise its LNG tanker strength to 100 by 2020 from about 70 now while third-biggest shipper Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd aims to order about 20 new LNG tankers before the end of the decade.