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MHI and Imabari Shipbuilding forming JV for design and marketing of LNG carriers; preparing for large-scale projects

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. of Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, are establishing MI LNG Company, Limited, a company to handle the design and marketing of LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers. The two companies intend to prepare a structure capable of responding to large-scale LNG carrier construction projects, which are expected to increase in tandem with expanding global demand for LNG.

MHI will own 51% of equity and Imabari Shipbuilding will hold the remaining 49%. Upon receiving an order for an LNG carrier, the JV will prepare the specifications, etc., and then order ship construction either to MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works or to Imabari Shipbuilding.

With shipyards of two companies at its disposal, the JV will be able to secure collective shipbuilding capacity of more than eight LNG carriers per year, the partners said. This will enable the JV to take orders for multiple LNG carriers, putting it in a position to vie against Korean and other large shipbuilders.

Regarding LNG carrier types, besides the conventional Moss type with spherical LNG tanks and the membrane type, the JV can also offer the “Sayaendo,” a new-generation LNG carrier developed by MHI as a high value-added vessel evolved from Moss-type carriers but achieving enhancements in energy savings and operability. (Earlier post.)

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