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Shale gas gives 'one-in-a-million' opportunities for LNG: MOL

Shale gas gives 'one-in-a-million' opportunities for LNG: MOL
Mistui OSK Lines (MOL) is aiming for a major expansion of its LNG shipping and offshore activities from 9% of its assets to 26% in 2020.

The figures were revealed by MOL in its mid-term management plan entitled “Steer 2020” launched on Monday.

Speaking about the plan MOL, president Kochi Muto said although the demand and supply balance was improving from global ocean shipping, given shipyard overcapacity, “we must realise that a structural upturn in the market environment is years away”.

However, he highlighted bright spots in the energy shipping sectors, in particular LNG. “One that we should focus on is a new flow created by the shale revolution. The resulting rapid growth in demand for long-distance LNG transport presents us with one-in-a-million business opportunities,” Muto said.

In the LNG carrier business he said they could draw on their experience as world leader, while the company had also launched into the offshore sector.

Based on target numbers for its fleet expansion the proportion of the LNG carrier and offshore businesses in the company’s assets will be increase from 9% as of 30 September 2013, to 26% on 31 March 2020.

Last week consultants Tri-Zen quoted MOL figures that 160 LNG newbuildings would need to be added to the global fleet by 2020 to meet demand.

In other shipping sectors MOL is aiming to have more long-term charter and cargo contracts to provide greater stability of its earnings.

“We will seek a more portion of mid- and long-term contracts on the revenue side, while increasing the percentage of short-term charter vessels on the procurement side, especially in dry bulkers and tankers. This will build a flexible fleet that can more effectively tolerate market fluctuations,” Muto said.