Taiwan’s U-Ming plans to enter LNG carrier market

Taiwan’s shipowner U-Ming Marine Transport aims to enter the liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier market, as it plans to increase its fleet to more than 100 vessels.

U-Ming operates a fleet of 73 vessels with a total deadweight of 8.81 million tons including bulk carriers, cement carriers, LR1 tankers, VLOCs, and CTVs, according to its website.

This includes four 190,000-dwt LNG dual-fuel dry bulk carriers built by China’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding and chartered to Anglo American.

U-Ming revealed expansion plans in a document released for its 2024 annual meeting of shareholders which was held in Taipei, Taiwan on Monday.

The firm said it continues to “research and acquire new generations of environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient vessels, including zero-carbon or alternative fuel dual-fuel ships.”

For existing vessels, the company evaluates the installation of the latest energy-saving equipment to save fuel consumption and reduce carbon emissions.

“In addition to transporting traditional bulk cargo, U-Ming also plans to enter the liquefied natural gas (LNG) energy transportation and offshore service operation vessel (SOV) markets,” it said.

U-Ming said this diversification aligns with international environmental policies and customer demands, but it did not provide further details regarding the LNG carrier plans.

The firm said it timely retires older vessels to maintain a younger fleet, and expects that five new vessels will join the operational fleet between 2024 and 2025.

“Additionally, U-Ming plans for long-term fleet growth, setting goals for a fleet size exceeding 100 vessels and a total carrying capacity exceeding 10 million tons,” it said.

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