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Japan's shipping majors target offshore

Tokyo: The Japanese are targeting offshore as a major future source of revenues. Nippon Yusen Kaisha, for instance, has just announced the establishment of an Offshore Business Group under its Bulk Energy Transport division, starting October 1. FPSOs, FSOs and FSRUs will all be eyed under this new group. Hiromitsu Kuramoto, vice president of NYK, will be in charge of the new group. He will be assisted by Tadaaki Naito, managing director, and Hitoshi Nagasawa, corporate officer.
Furthermore, anchor handling tug/supply vessels (AHTS) and platform support vessels (PSV) are likely to be on the menu.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha ("K" Line) is one step ahead of NYK. This June it signed a strategic partnership agreement to acquire a 15% equity stake in Britain's FLEX LNG. Last year "K" Line ordered four PSVs and two AHTS vessels at a total cost of about Y70 billion with a Norwegian joint venture partner. "K" Line is also planning to enter into the FPSO, drill ship and semi-submersible rig business, according to the Kaiji Press.
Beating everyone to the punch though has been Sanko Steamship which resumed the offshore business in October 2005 after a six year hiatus. It has taken delivery of 10 vessels, with 28 more in the order book.
Meanwhile, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has teamed up with Hoegh LNG to bid for FSRUs in a tender by Petrobras of Brazil.  [01/09/08]


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