Tokyo-based Astomos Energy Corporation has ordered three Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGC) at two Japanese shipyards, bringing its order book to ten new-buildings.
Under the deal, the company has ordered two 82,200-cbm LPG ships at Kawasaki Heavy Industries that are scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2019.
Astomos has also placed an order at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a Group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), for a very large liquefied petroleum gas carrier featuring 83,000 cubic meters in capacity. The order will be carried out via NYK Line based on a five-year charter agreement the company had signed with Astomos.
The order marks the very first to be received by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding since the company’s launch on October 1. The LPG carrier on order is identical to the four vessels Astomos Energy has already ordered at MHI since 2013. Completion and delivery are scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018.
The ships will be equipped with the industry’s most advanced systems, including mooring arrangement, to enable passage through the newly expanding Panama Canal, which is expected to become operable in the first half of 2016. Besides the newly ordered carrier, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding will also build or complete the four ships previously ordered by Astomos Energy at MHI.
Astomos Energy presently operates a fleet of 21 very large LPG carriers. All six vessels owned by the company and 10 of the company’s 15 time-chartered vessels were built by MHI at the Nagasaki Shipyard. Currently Astomos Energy, in its new medium-term business plan beginning in fiscal 2015, is targeting expansion of its LPG transport structure and an increase in its gross LPG handling volume from the current 10 million tons per year (mtpy) to more than 12 mtpy by 2017.