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Smaller LNG Freight Carrier Industry Growing
Overseas shipping companies have been embracing the concept of smaller-scale LNGs more and more of late in the freight carrier industry. Smaller Japanese-owned LNG carriers have been transporting gases along the coasts of Japan and surrounding regions for about 17 years, according to freight shipping sources, so this idea is hardly new.

The use of smaller LNG freight carrier vessles in other regions of the world has been spurred of late by the growth in shipping services for isolated customers in northwest Europe and the use of LNG as a greener fuel source for commercial shipping. The Baltic and Scandinavian regions of the world have specifically shown a significant growth in freight carriers providing shipping services to customers in these regions without access to pipeline gas.

Norwegian shipowner IM Skaugen has boldly embraced the use of smaller LNG carriers by recently ordering a number of small-scale LNGs with the ability to carry a number of different types of bulk gas freight, from Chinese shipyards. Referred to as multigas LNG carriers these vessels are semi-refrigerated vessels capable of carrying a number of different types of gases to destination, including ethylene and petrochemicals in their two stainless steel tanks. These vessels also have mini-LNG plants that can handle the boil-off gas and reliquefy almost 20 tonnes per day.

These multi-tasking smaller LNG carriers even include a dual manifold on both upper and lower levels. This allows these LNG carriers to load LNG at both small and large LNG terminals, which gives the operators more business options.

Sources around the shipbuilding industry indicate that IM Skaugen has already taken delivery of the first of these so-called multigas smaller LNG carriers, the 10,500-cbm Norgas Innovation in January. The Norgas Innovation's sisterships Norgas Creation, Norgas Invention and Norgas Conception are due to arrive in the second quarter of 2011. This firm apparently also expects the 12,000-cbm sisterships Norgas Unikum and Norgas Vision to arrive in the first part of 2011 and according to sources could decide to take the option for four more of these 12,000-cbm LNG carriers that they have with the same shipyard.

IM Skaugen will be putting the Norgas Innovation to work transporting LNG for Nordic LNG on a long-term charter, according to company information. This vessel will trade in northwest Europe, targeting customers in the Baltic regions of Norway and Sweden, but in truth this vessel could trade anywhere in northwest Europe.
Posted on 14 Sep 2010 by Momentum
Ocean Freight Carriers Rebuilding Fleets
Ocean freight carriers of bulk oil have a reputation that's mainly built on the bad press we read in the news or hear on the television. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if a large percentage of people, unless they have direct experience in the ocean freight shipping business or a related industry, knew little about the essential job that these transporters of bulk crude oil accomplish on a daily basis for the world at large.

One of Singapore's more prominent tanker owners Ocean Tankers Holdings for the large part in years past concentrated on transporting crude oil for oil-trading partner Hin Leong Group. This has changed in the years since and according to Ocean Tankers Holding today only around 10 percent of their crude oil ocean freight carrier business is with Hin Leong Group. Hin Leong Group has according to company reports been in a rebuilding phase of sorts lately, ordering a series of 12 new VLCCs of over 300,000-dwt that according to Ocean Tankers Holdings will form the core of its new 'Dream Fleet'. Six of these large VLCCs have already been reported as included in Ocean Tankers Holdings 'Dream Fleet' roster, which means six tankers are still under construction in China's Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding facility and will arrive in a year or so.

This rebuilding of Ocean Tankers Holdings fleet into a new 'Dream Fleet' comes at an important moment in Ocean Tankers Holdings history. Ocean Tankers Holdings ocean freight carrier vessels recently started trading in American ports after apparently avoiding them for years, according to company sources. Ocean Tankers Holdings fleet is also no longer mainly composed of single-hull vessels and it could be that the company feels a little more confident and comfortable with trading in American waters. Reports around the freight carrier industry indicate that the last of Ocean Tankers Holdings single-hull VLCCs, the 255,000-dwt Hida Maru was sent to the breakers in Bangladeshi in March.

What's next for Ocean Tankers Holdings? The company has indicated that once the last six VLCCs are on the water and delivered in a year or so they'll have no more new ships on order and no plans at present to order more. Ocean Tankers Holdings has a current fleet of over 100 vessels, composed of large VLCCs, small coastal tankers, barges and even tugs.
Posted on 13 Sep 2010 by Momentum

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