Chinese shipbuilders to focus on LNG carriers

Date:2010/6/08/ 09:47
Chinese shipbuilders, Dalian Shipbuilding Industry and Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries Group, have just announced that they would enter into the LNG carrier market. The domestic demand is predicted to reach 38 LNG carriers in 2010 and over 65 units in 2015. This huge demand will give a big boost to Chinese shipbuilders in the battle against South Korean counterparts.
The added value of LNG carriers is much higher than that of traditional vessels, stressed Chen Qiang, president of Rongsheng Heavy Industries. The Chinese private shipbuilder, which plans to go public this year, is now striving to push forward its LNG carrier project.
After the financial crisis, South Korean shipbuilders are suffering from high cost in financing, but Chinese yards are enjoying export buyer's credit lines of domestic banks. It enables Chinese shipbuilders to gain more advantage in the fighting for new LNG carrier orders, pointed out the president.
In March, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) disclosed that the company would sign a long-term agreement with Exxon Mobil Corporation, under which it will lease six LNG carriers to the latter. To date, two of the LNG carriers have been delivered by Hyundai Heavy Industries and, as for the remaining four, MOL plans to sign building contracts with Chinese shipyards.
The first five Chinese built LNG carriers were completed by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, a member of the China Shipbuilding Group Corporation (CSSC). In addition to the 147,000m3 LNG carriers it has built, the shipbuilder is developing LNG carriers larger than 200,000m3, said a source close to CSSC.
Earlier this year, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding received the order for its sixth LNG carrier. from Shanghai LNG Shipping, reported to be a joint venture between China LNG Shipping (Holdings), Shenergy Group, and China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC). When this newbuilding is delivered, it will be employed in the transportation of LNG from Malaysia to Shanghai for the next 20 years.
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