Top Five LNG Shipowners Of 2022

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Credits: Scott Tobin/ Unsplash
  • Record newbuilding and investment in the LNG shipping sector in 2022 will continue to reshape the global LNG shipping fleet. 
  • QatarEnergy is undertaking the North Field Expansion Project to increase its LNG production capacity to 126 mta by 2027.
  • Filling out the top five LNG shipowners by valuation in 2022 are ICBC Financial Leasing, with a fleet of 26 LNG carriers valued US$6.0Bn.

Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has emerged as the owner of the world’s most valuable fleet of LNG carriers, worth close to US$6.1Bn, according to data from UK-based ship valuation firm VesselsValue.

LNG carrier valuation

This valuation is slightly up from MOL’s fleet valuation of US$5.9Bn that LNG Shipping & Terminals reported in 2020. 

All the numbers are as of November 2022, and VesselsValue notes the numbers are based on live vessels only.

Record newbuilding and investment in the LNG shipping sector in 2022 will continue to reshape the global LNG shipping fleet. 

Some 205 LNG carriers with an aggregate capacity of 34,072,182 m3 were ordered in 2022, according to the latest available data from BRL Weekly Newbuilding Contracts. 

Overall, 386 LNG carriers with a total capacity of 62,012,885 m3 are on order at shipyards as of week 50, 2022. 

*Note, these figures include LNG carriers of all sizes, including LNG bunkers and small-scale carriers.

Spending spree of 2022

At the center of 2022’s spending spree is the historic new building programme undertaken by Qatar to meet its needs to transport the volumes from its North Field Expansion Project and fleet renewal plans.

In November, for example, MOL announced a long-term charter with QatarEnergy for three LNG newbuildings that will be constructed at China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding for delivery in 2027. 

MOL signed a long-term charter contract with QatarEnergy in April 2022 for four LNG newbuildings, and the relationship between QatarEnergy and MOL will be further expanded by three LNG carriers through the latest contract.

QatarEnergy is undertaking the North Field Expansion Project to increase its LNG production capacity to 126 mta by 2027.

Latest orders

Among the latest orders reported in week 50 was an order placed by China Merchants Energy Shipping, which exercised options for two 175,000-m3 LNG carriers at Dalian Shipbuilding Industry (DSIC). 

These vessels are priced at US$235M apiece, with deliveries set for H2 2026 and H1 2027, according to BRL.

“Six vessels are now on order with four staged 10% payments agreed and final 60% on delivery of the ships,” reported BRL, noting. 

“These are among the first orders ever received for LNG tonnage after a licensing agreement with DSIC allowing the use of GTT Mark III Flex tank containment systems from France.”

In addition, Oceanix Services ordered two 174,000-m3 LNG carriers from Samsung Heavy Industries for delivery in September and December 2025, respectively, “but no employment or price was confirmed” said BRL.

Others in the top five

Filling out the top five LNG shipowners by valuation in 2022 are ICBC Financial Leasing, with a fleet of 26 LNG carriers valued US$6.0Bn.

NYK Line with 36 vessels valued at US$5.8Bn, Maran Gas Maritime with a fleet valued at US$4.8Bn and Qatar Gas Transport, with 33 vessels valued at US$4.5Bn.

When it comes to the number of owned LNG carriers, there is a slight shuffle in the owner rankings. 

While MOL still emerges as the leader with 38 LNG carriers to its credit, NYK Line trails with 36 vessels, Qatar Gas Transport has 33, Malaysia’s MISC has 28 vessels and ICBC Financial Leasing rounds out the top five with 26.

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Source: Riviera

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