Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines has sealed its seventh long-term time charter on an LNG carrier newbuilding with compatriot trading giant JERA.

The trader’s vessel operation management company will take on a 174,000-cbm newbuilding currently on order at Samsung Heavy Industries.

The ship, which will be fitted with a ME-GA propulsion system, is due for delivery in 2026.

It will be managed by MOL and will transport LNG for JERA.

MOL noted this is its seventh LNG newbuilding deal with JERA.

The company inked its last agreement with the trader in October 2023 on an SHI newbuilding, which is scheduled for delivery in 2027.

Announcing results last week, JERA, which is co-owned by Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, said it plans to invest in hydrogen, ammonia and LNG.

By 2035, the company expects to continue handling over 35 million tonnes of LNG per year, maintaining its current capacity.

“Without a certain LNG-handling scale, it will be difficult to have a global presence that can constantly bring flexible supply to Japan,” chairman Yukio Kani said at a briefing.

Kani said JERA — which has also been chartering in LNG newbuildings from Japanese owner NYK —wants to ensure stable LNG supply for Japan and Asia and provide solutions to address fluctuations in demand for the fuel while maintaining market share.

JERA wants to build a clean energy platform but said growing the use of LNG over coal is key to promoting a low-carbon society.

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