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Japan's INPEX Secures 2 LNG Carriers for Ichthys LNG Project
=Signed contracts to jointly own a vessel and charter another ship with "K" Line
INPEX CORPORATION, an oil/gas exploration and production company based in Japan, has secured two LNG carriers for transportation of LNG from Australian LNG production project "Ichthys LNG Project". INPEX will jointly construct and own a LNG vessel with Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, or "K" Line, to carry LNG to Naoetsu LNG receiving terminal in northwest Japan, which is being built by INPEX. Also, it signed a charter contract with "K" Line to transport LNG from Ichthys to Taiwan's CPC Corporation.

"K" Line concluded a time charter contract for one vessel with Chubu Electric Power Company this April. The charter contracts for these two vessels will be the second and third one in 2013 for "K" Line. The company is currently operating 43 LNG ships. When the construction of the ships for Chubu Electric and Ichthys LNG Project is completed, number of the ship that "K" Line places into service will expand to 46.

For Naoetsu LNG receiving terminal, Ocean Breeze LNG Transport S.A. (OBLT), a joint venture company between "K" Line and INPEX Shipping Co., Ltd., subsidiary of INPEX with a stake of "K" Line 70% and INPEX Shipping 30%, placed an order with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) to construct a "Sayaendo" series new-generation LNG carrier, with cargo tank volume of 155,300 cubic meters, which will be built at MHI's Nagasaki Shipyard.

In addition, INPEX signed a time charter contract with OBLT to deliver 900,000 tons per year of LNG to Naoestu terminal for its trade. The construction of "Sayaendo" series new ship will be finished by the end of 2016 when LNG production at Ichthys is scheduled to start.

However, Naoestu terminal is expected to go on stream in 2014. Then, INPEX plans to procure LNG on a spot or short-term contract basis for about three years until Ichthys project starts up. The construction work for the terminal is going without a hitch. The first vessel is scheduled to enter the terminal for trial operation in late August.

On the other hand, "K" Line has also concluded a time charter contract with IT Marine Transport Pte. Ltd., a joint venture company between INPEX Shipping and a subsidiary of France's Total, INPEX's partner of Ichthys project, to transport 1.75 million tpy of LNG to CPC Corporation in Taiwan. The joint venture company is 68.77% owned by INPEX and 31.23% by Total.

For transportation of LNG to Taiwan, "K" Line has executed a shipbuilding contract with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) for a Moss-type LNG carrier, having tank capacity of 182,000 cubic meters. This is the first Moss-type LNG vessel in the world, which is equipped with Duel Fuel Diesel Electric (DFD) propulsion system. This system is propelled by generators being fueled by boil-off gas and/or marine fuel oil.
last modified : Tue 11 Jun, 2013 [14:30]
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