Japan's Biggest Shipping Firm to Add More LNG Tankers

Thursday, September 22, 2005
Nippon Yusen KK, Japan's biggest shipping company, has upwardly revised its plan to expand its fleet of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, a major Japanese financial paper reported Wednesday. Nippon Yusen's initial business plan called for it to either own or have invested in the construction of about 60 such tankers by fiscal 2010. It has now raised that figure to roughly 80-100 tankers, the Nikkei Shimbun said. As the US and other countries are expected to dramatically increase their LNG import volumes, foreign tanker transport firms are scrambling to keep pace. By increasing its fleet, the firm aims to ship more of the fuel, according to the report. Because building an LNG tanker is costly, running about JPY 20-30 billion (USD 180-270 million) each, more shipping companies and LNG development firms are jointly investing in their construction. At present, Nippon Yusen has stakes in 33 LNG tankers and the firm has upgraded its plan to raise this number to 80 in fiscal 2010. The Tokyo-based shipping firm may raise the number to about 100 tankers around 2010, depending on orders. Source Kuwait News Agency

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