Itochu Corp. and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. have reached an agreement with Sonatrach, an Algerian state-owned oil and gas company, to build and operate ships to transport liquefied natural gas (LNGLF)
, wire reports said.
The three and a marine transport unit of Sonatrach will
set up a company to build two 75,500-cu. m. LNG carriers under a 35 billion yen investment project.
Japan's Universal Shipbuilding Co. will build the two carriers in 2007 and 2009, the report said, adding the carriers will be lent to Sonatrach for LNG shipping to Greece, Italy, Spain and other countries on the Mediterranean coast.
Demand for LNG is growing because of rising oil prices and the fight against global warming, the report said. Algeria is one of the world's largest LNG exporters.