New LNG Carrier BEIDOU STAR Delivered
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) delivered of the LNG carrier BEIDOU STAR from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd. (Hudong) on November 30.
The BEIDOU STAR is the third ship in a series of four new-build LNG carriers that will provide transportation services on long-term charter, for ExxonMobil’s LNG interests in Papua New Guinea and Australia.
This shipbuilding project marks a number of firsts. It was the first use of a Chinese shipyard by a foreign shipping company, the first time for a major Chinese energy company, PetroChina Limited, to participate in an LNG transport project, and the first co-ownership of LNG carriers between the China’s major ship operator, China Shipping (Group) Company and PetroChina.
MOL has assigned technical experts to the shipyard since January 2011 to ensure strict quality control and safety standards during the construction process. MOL also formed a multinational Japanese/Chinese ship construction and supervision team and raised the profile of the project. This was the first time a non-Chinese shipping company has built an LNG carrier in China.
Starting with the first vessel, the PAPUA, which was delivered in January 2015, the project has progressed smoothly. The relationship that MOL has developed with its Chinese partners in this project has led to another, which will involve six newbuilding LNG carriers for China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC). MOL joined that project in April 2013. These vessels are now under construction at Hudong’s shipyard. Those vessels, along with the four for the ExxonMobil project will bring the total of newbuildings to 10 by 2017.
Aiming toward its goal of “solid growth through innovative changes” set forth in its management plan STEER FOR 2020, MOL continues to offer value-added services to customers all over the world, by using its experience in successful international cooperative projects, the know-how and network it has built as one of the world’s leading owners/managers of LNG carriers.