MOL takes delivery of new LNG carrier BEIDOU STAR
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced the successful delivery of the LNG carrier BEIDOU STAR from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd. (Hudong) on November 30. The BEIDOU STAR is the third ship in a series of four new-build LNG carriers that will provide transportation services on long-term charter, for ExxonMobil's LNG interests in Papua New Guinea and Australia, the company said in its press release.
Before the delivery, the naming ceremony was held at the Hudong shipyard on November 6.
This ship building project marks a number of "firsts" – the first use of a Chinese shipyard by a foreign shipping company, the first time for a Chinese Energy major PetroChina Company Limited to participate in an LNG transport project, and the first co-ownership of LNG carriers between the China's major ship operator, China Shipping (Group) Company and PetroChina.
MOL has assigned technical experts to the shipyard since January 2011 to ensure strict quality control and safety standards during the construction process. MOL also formed a multinational Japanese/Chinese ship construction and supervision team and raised the profile of the project – the first time a non-Chinese shipping company has built an LNG carrier in China.
Starting with the first vessel, the PAPUA, which was delivered in January 2015, the project has progressed smoothly, thanks to the cooperation of everyone involved. In addition, the trusting relationship that MOL has developed with its Chinese partners in this project has led to another, which will involve six newbuilding LNG carriers for China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC). MOL joined this project in April 2013. These vessels are now under construction at Hudong's shipyard. Those vessels, along with the four for the ExxonMobil project will bring the total of newbuildings to 10 by 2017.