London-based petrochemicals producer INEOS Energy Trading has signed long-term charter agreements with Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) for two newly built LNG carriers to transport natural gas from the US to Germany.
The charters mark INEOS’ entry into the LNG shipping market and complement the existing charter fleet of 12 ethane and naphtha tankers.
INEOS’ commitment follows a long-term purchase and sale agreement signed with Sempra for 1.4 million tonnes per year of LNG from Port Arthur, Texas, as well as the purchase of long-term LNG regasification terminal capacity in Brunsbüttel, Germany.
The two ships have a capacity of 174,000 cubic meters. MOL has placed an order with Hanwha Ocean’s Okpo shipyard in South Korea, with delivery scheduled for 2027.
INEOS plans to use its experience as the world’s largest ethane gas transporter to develop an LNG ‘pipeline’ to Europe to meet its own and third-party needs.
The two ships will be equipped with MAN Energy Solutions (ME-GA) engines and will feature additional energy-efficient technologies such as air lubrication technology and shaft generators.
“It was extremely important that we selected modern, efficient vessels that were also designed with environmental considerations in mind,” said David Bucknall, CEO of Ineos Energy Trading. “We agreed with MOL on an engine type and ship specification that we believe is optimal for reducing carbon emissions and methane slip. We will continue to work with MOL to identify further emission reduction opportunities as both companies work toward a net-zero future.”
“We are very pleased to be working with MOL, who have extensive experience in LNG shipments and an excellent reputation. We look forward to developing the relationship both during the charter period and beyond,” said Bucknall.