NYK inks LNG charter deal with Sinopec

Japan’s shipping firm NYK has signed a long-term LNG charter contract with China’s state-controlled energy giant Sinopec.

According to a statement by NYK, the deal is for the transport of LNG to China for up to 23 years, beginning in 2024 or later.

NYK said this is the third conclusion of time-charter contracts with energy companies based in China but the firm did not provide any additional information regarding the new deal.

Last year, NYK joined forces with China’s CNOOC to order six 174,000-cbm LNG carriers from China’s Hudong-Zhonghua for about $1.2 billion.

NYK is also part of a consortium that ordered five LNG carriers at Hudong-Zhonghua as part of QatarEnergy’s giant shipbuilding program.

The company’s president and CEO, Takaya Soga, recently said that NYK is working to further expand its giant fleet of LNG carriers and LNG-powered vessels.

According to NYK’s second-quarter FY 2023 earnings presentation, NYK had 115 LNG carriers in its fleet as of September 30, including pre-delivery vessels with long-term charters.

Out of these, 86 LNG carriers are in operation, the presentation shows.

On the other hand, Sinopec is heavily investing in the company’s LNG business, and it recently put in use what it says is the world’s largest LNG storage tank at its Qingdao LNG import terminal in Shandong province.

The tank has a storage capacity of 270,000 cbm and is the first such operational tank in China and the world, Sinopec claims.

Besides putting into use the giant Qingdao LNG storage tank, Sinopec also completed the phase II construction at its import terminal in the northern port city of Tianjin, near Beijing.

In addition, Sinopec and QatarEnergy also recently signed another 27-year SPA for volumes from Qatar’s North Field South (NFS) expansion project.

This deal adds to a long-term LNG SPA the two firms signed last year.

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