Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines has inked a long-term time-charter deal with compatriot utility Tokyo Gas Co’s shipping arm.

MOL said it has signed a charter with Tokyo LNG Tanker on a 174,000-cbm LNG carrier newbuilding.

The vessel, which is on order at Hanwha Ocean and is being fitted with an ME-GA propulsion system, is due for delivery in 2026.

The LNG carrier will be managed by MOL and transport LNG for Toyko LNG Tanker.

MOL said this is the eighth contract it has finalised with Tokyo LNG Tanker.

The Japanese owner has a raft of LNG carrier newbuildings on order, largely at Hanwha Ocean but also at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and in China.

It also has been named as the owner selected to provide Poland’s first floating storage and regasification unit.

The shipowner is also battling with three more troublesome Arc7 LNG newbuildings, which were originally contracted at Hanwha Ocean for Russia’s Novatek to serve its Arctic LNG 2 project.

Last week MOL confirmed to TradeWinds that this trio of ice-breaking vessels had not been sanctioned — after the US imposed sanctions on three sister ships being constructed at the same yard — but are being delayed due to labour issues, which it said are affecting all Korean shipbuilders.

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