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Yasumi Kudo, president NYK

NYK to invest $5.13bn in LNG, offshore over next five years

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) plans to invest JPY530bn ($5.13bn) in LNG carriers and the offshore business over the next five years, while making its container and dry bulk segments more asset light.

Setting out its mid-term management plan NYK, much like compatriot Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), said it would be focusing on LNG and offshore. Setting out total investments of JPY790bn over the next five years the shipowner said: “NYK realises strong business portfolio against changing market conditions by utilising business chances such as LNG transportation and offshore business, and strengthens financial ground which enables large-scale investment, and sets out NYK group’s sustainable growth.”

Looking at the LNG sector NYK noted the growing demand from Japan and developing countries and the removal of the shale gas export ban by the US.

The company said it planned to expand its fleet of LNG carriers from 67 at present, including jointly owned vessels, to over 100 by 2019. Noting shortage of highly skilled seafarers for LNG vessels it plans to develop its training at its inhouse academy in the Philippines and other institutions. It is a looking to develop a new business around LNG as a fuel for ships.

In the offshore sector NYK plans to expand its presence in the floating production market, with FPSOs, FSRUs and FLNG to provide long term stable revenues.

It also plans to expand it shuttle tanker fleet through Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers (KNOT) by seven vessels to 34.

Looking at containerships and dry bulk NYK said it plans to reinforce an asset light strategy. It aims to reduce its containership fleet by 14 to 85 vessels over the next five years. Its owned and long term chartered fleet will be reduced from 74 to 65 by 2019.

In the bulk shipping sector it is looking reduce its exposure in large sized vessels. The plan is to downsize its capesize fleet 126 vessels to 100 by 2019 and post-panamax and panamax bulkers from 97 to 85.

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