Japan’s shipping giant MOL has signed a deal to charter three newbuild LNG carriers to a unit of Chinese independent gas distributor ENN.
MOL said in a statement on Thursday it penned the long-term charter deal with ENN LNG (Singapore).
According to MOL, China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding would build the vessels and deliver them by 2028.
After delivery, the vessels would be engaged mainly in transport of LNG, procured by ENN under long-term purchase contracts, to China, it said. ENN operates a large LNG terminal in the Zhoushan area of Zhejiang province.
The Japanese firm did not provide any further information regarding the deal.
One shipbuilding source said that these vessels would be similar to the six 174,000-cbm LNG carriers Japan’s NYK and China’s CNOOC ordered at Hudong-Zhonghua in April.
Part of Hudong-Zhonghua’s fifth-generation Changxeng series, these 299 meters long vessels feature WinGD’s X-DF dual-fuel engines and GTT’s NO96 Super+ containment system.
Also, the source said that Hudong-Zhonghua should deliver two of these LNG carriers in 2027 and four in 2028 and that the charter appears to be for 20 years.
MOL could pay between $230-240 million per vessel, the source said.
Hudong-Zhonghua has this year won several orders for LNG carriers.
This includes the six 174,000-cbm LNG carriers MOL ordered in a partnership with COSCO Shipping’s unit CSLNG and CNOOC, and the second CNOOC transportation project.
CSSC Shipping also placed an order in January this year.