Japan’s shipping giant MOL has decided on a plan to order two cruise ships for about 100 billion yen ($721 million).
MOL did not reveal in a statement issued on Friday whether the vessels would be LNG-powered but the company is in investing heavily in LNG fuel and plans to have 90 LNG-powered ships by 2030.
The firm is yet to decide on the shipbuilder and expects the two 35,000t class ocean-going cruise ships to carry the Japanese flag.
Also, it plans to take delivery of the two vessels, which will be operated by its unit Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line, around 2027.
This unit operates MOL’s 1990-built cruise vessel Nippon Maru.
“The company is strengthening its non-shipping business in line with the Portfolio Strategy set out in the management plan, Rolling Plan 2022,” MOL said.
As part of this effort, the company has decided to build two ocean-going cruise ships to capture domestic and international cruise demand, which has less linkage to shipping market fluctuations and is expected to expand in the future, it said.
In August, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, launched Japan’s second LNG ferry for MOL.
Back in 2019, MOL ordered these two LNG ferries, Sunflower Kurenai and Sunflower Murasaki, at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding.
Besides these two ships, MOL placed an order at compatriot shipbuilder Naikai Zosen for two additional LNG ferries.
In addition to these ferries, MOL in August ordered six large LNG-powered vessels at yards in China, as part of its plans to have 90 LNG-fueled ships.
It signed a deal with CSSC’s Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding for the construction of four 210,000-dwt LNG-powered Capesize bulkers.
The firm also concluded a shipbuilding contract with Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries for two 309,000-dwt LNG-fueled very large crude carriers.