Japan’s MOL to expand fleet with five LNG-powered bulkers

Japan’s shipping giant MOL has decided to expand its fleet with five new LNG dual-fuel capesize bulkers. MOL will order these vessels at yards in Japan and China.

According to a statement by the shipping firm, two of the vessels will be ordered from Japan’s Nihon Shipyard and built by Imabari Shipbuilding, and three will be built by CSSC’s Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding in China.

Last year, MOL also ordered four LNG-powered capesize bulkers from Qingdao Beihai, the company’s first time to order newbuilding vessels from this shipyard.

According to MOL, all off the new LNG-powered vessels will be about 300 meters long and 50 meters wide.

The Imabari ships will have about 209,000 dwt and the Qingdao Beihai ships will have about 210,000 dwt.

MOL said the five vessels are slated for delivery from 2026 to 2027.

Including these five vessels, MOL will add a total of 13 LNG-fueled capesize bulkers in its fleet.

Among them, MOL has been operating one vessel since March 2023 and has supplied LNG fuel to it, it said.

MOL also recently started shipping coal for compatriot Kyushu Electric Power (Kyuden) with a new LNG-powered Panamax-class bulk carrier.

The group has been expanding its LNG-fueled fleet, with car carriers, bulk carriers, tankers, ferries, and tugboats.

MOL currently has 32 oceangoing vessels and 6 coastal vessels powered by LNG in its fleet, it said.

The company plans to have 90 LNG-powered and methanol-fueled vessels by 2030.

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