Japan’s shipping giant MOL and its partners have entered into a lease agreement for three LNG carriers with China’s Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co (BOCOM Leasing).
Besides MOL, the joint venture includes Cosco Shipping LNG Investment (Shanghai), CNOOC Gas and Power Singapore Trading & Marketing, and CETS Investment Management (HK).
China’s Hudong-Zhonghua is building these three 174,000-cbm LNG carriers.
MOL said in a statement that the lease agreement with BOCOM Leasing, a unit of Bank of Communications and the largest leasing company in China was signed on June 27.
Also, the Japanese firm said this marks its first contract with a Chinese leasing company.
This lease agreement was achieved with a local financial institution in collaboration with a Chinese partner, in line with MOL’s regional strategy, it said.
“Through these initiatives, MOL will expand its funding sources and diversify its funding methods to strengthen its competitiveness, and it aims to realize a “regional strategy” while increasing its presence in China and other Asian markets,” MOL said.
MOL did not provide any additional information regarding the deal.
In January last year, MOL and its partners ordered six LNG carriers from Hudong-Zhonghua for about $1.17 billion.
All of the ships will serve CNOOC’s gas and power unit under long-term charter deals.
Part of Hudong-Zhonghua’s fifth-generation Changxeng series, the 299 meters long vessels will feature WinGD’s X-DF dual-fuel engines and GTT’s NO96 Super+ containment system.
The Chinese shipbuilder will deliver the vessels from 2024 through 2026.