Japan’s MOL boosts LNG carrier business with Itochu deal

Japan’s shipping giant MOL has decided to buy Itochu’s 50 percent stake in LNG Rose Shipping, making the LNG carrier company a 100 percent-owned unit of MOL.

MOL said on June 28 it will buy the 50 percent stake in the Marshall Islands-based company from Itochu for $32 million.

According to MOL, LNG Rose Shipping (LRSC) was established in December 2014 as a joint venture company between the duo for the purpose of owning LNG carriers and executing and performing time charters.

It has has been engaged in the business of owning LNG carriers and time charter since then.

MOL did not reveal further information regarding the company.

VesselsValue data shows that LNG Rose Shipping owns the 2018-built 180,000-cbm, LNG Schneeweisschen.

This LNG carrier and LNG Rosenrot are both serving charter deals with Germany’s Uniper.

“We hereby plan to strengthen the LNG carrier business and came to a decision to acquire all shares in LRSC held by Itochu and to make LRSC a consolidated subsidiary company of the ompany,” MOL said.

MOL expects its huge fleet of LNG carriers to increase to 104 vessels by March 31, 2025.

This includes LNG carriers owned and/or operated by joint venture companies.

According to MOL, the firm had 94 LNG carriers in its fleet in the first quarter of 2023 and 97 LNG carriers in the first quarter of this year.

MOL also previously said that it has more than 30 LNG carriers on order.

As of March 31, 2024 MOL’s fleet also included five FSUs/FSRUs, three LNG bunkering vessels, one LNG powership, six ethane carriers, and 20 LPG/ammonia ships.

MOL has also a set a target to operate 90 LNG-powered and methanol-fueled vessels by 2030.

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