Mitsui OSK Line has turned to South East Asia’s most populous nation to source seafarers for its expanding LNG carrier fleet.

The Japanese shipowning giant is teaming up with Indonesian manning agency PT MCS Internasional, part of PT Humpuss Maritim Internasional Tbk Group, to establish PT McMOL Crewing International.

The venture, which plans to begin operations next April, will primarily allocate seafarers for the MOL Group’s fleet of LNG carriers.

“In operating vessels transporting LNG, it is essential to recruit, train and retain top-quality seafarers who are qualified to handle LNG,” MOL said.

“Yet even as the use of LNG expands on the back of growing needs for cleaner energy, the world is facing a shortage of seafarers. The establishment of this new manning company will contribute to the stable supply of seafarers.”

MOL has a long-term working relationship with the Humpuss Group, having formed ship management company PT Humolco LNG Indonesia in 1986, which has focused on training Indonesian seafarers.

MOL has a fleet of 98 LNG carriers as of the end of the last financial quarter. It also owns two LNG bunkering vessels.

Just a few weeks ago, Schoeller-owned Columbia Group announced that it was tapping into Indonesia as a source of seafarers with the formation of Columbia Shipmanagement Indonesia.

According to Columbia, more than 12m people are employed in Indonesia’s maritime sector, and its fleet has doubled in size since 2005.

MOL says it is essential to recruit, train, and retain top-quality seafarers who are qualified to handle LNG. Photo: MOL