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Major Japanese LNG shipowner in gas carrier collaboration

Class society ABS and one of the world’s largest owners of LNG carriers, Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on up to 14 new gas carriers

The agreement covers seven newbuild very large ethane carriers (VLECs) and up to seven newbuild LNG carriers designed to carry gas from the US to China and other global markets.

“ABS is a world leader in gas and the classification of gas carriers, with a track record of supporting some of the most innovative and technically demanding projects in the world”, said ABS executive vice president and chief operating officer Tony Nassif.

One of those innovative projects was an MOL newbuild programme for the world’s first VLEC Ethane Crystal delivered in November 2016. With an 87,000-m3 cargo carrying capacity, the vessel was the first of its kind to be constructed with a specially designed GTT Mark III membrane cargo containment system.

Ethane Crystal operates on a trade route between North America and India, carrying ethane that will be used as feedstock for petrochemical production.

Under the MOU, ABS will provide plan review, survey, inspection and other classification services for vessels, machinery and equipment, and assist with managing the requirements for internationally flagged carriers calling at US terminals.

“Joining our accumulated experience and knowledge as one of the world’s leading LNG carrier owners, management companies and the largest VLEC operator in the world with ABS’ extensive experience, demonstrates that MOL is committed to offering safe, high-quality and efficient gas transport service to customers”, said MOL general manager, Energy Business Strategy Division, Energy Transport Business unit, Tatsuro Watanabe.

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