Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines has been linked to an order for two LNG carrier newbuildings announced by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.

The yard said on 15 April that it had won a contract worth KRW 526.3bn ($426m) from a client in “Oceania”.

Withholding the name of the buyer, DSME said the 174,000-cbm gas ships are scheduled to be delivered by the second half of 2026.

The Okpo shipbuilder said the eco-friendly newbuildings will each be fitted with a low-pressure dual-fuel ME-GA engine and an on-board re-liquefaction facility that will significantly reduce emissions.

DSME said the latest LNG carrier contract lifts its order tally to date to $4.61bn, which is about 52% of its target of $8.9bn for 2022.

Shipbuilding sources following the business said MOL is the “Oceania” client that DSME outlined. The LNG carrier newbuildings are said to be options held at the yard by the Japanese shipowner as part of a series of vessels that it inked there last year.

Sources said MOL has not lined up employment for the duo.

DSME declined to comment on the owner’s identity, citing contract confidentiality. MOL declined to comment when contacted.

In 2021, MOL booked four LNG carrier newbuildings at DSME for delivery in 2024. The deal was said to include several optional ships.

The owner confirmed the order of the quartet and said the 174,000-cbm Arc4 LNG carrier newbuildings were backed by charter contracts with Russian gas giant Novatek. The charter deals were signed by subsidiary Novatek Gas & Power Asia.

Earlier this year, MOL was reported to have exercised an option for a single LNG carrier newbuilding at the South Korean shipyard, also to be delivered in 2024.

LNG shipping sources linked the single ship to charter business with Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co.

Last week, MOL announced that it had signed a long-term charter contract for four LNG carrier newbuildings with QatarEnergy. It said the 174,000-cbm carriers at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding are slated for delivery from 2024 through 2025.

The shipowner said its “solid track record in building LNG carriers in China in addition to its performance in the LNG carrier business and safety in navigation and cargo handling, have earned high regard from QatarEnergy, leading to the successful conclusion of the contract”.

QatarEnergy has a huge appetite for LNG carriers and is seeking 151 vessels. It has reserved several berths at four shipyards — Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries, DSME and Hudong-Zhonghua.

The 174,000-cbm Maran Gas Amphipolis (built 2016) was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. Photo: DSME