Press Information

MHI Receives Order for 2 Next-generation LNG Carriers from Mitsui
-- First Order for Transporting Shale Gas Produced in North America --


Tokyo, January 29, 2015 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order for two next-generation LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers from Mitsui & Co., Ltd. The carriers on order feature a design that achieves significant improvements in both LNG carrying capacity and fuel performance through the adoption of a more efficient hull structure and an innovative hybrid propulsion system. The vessels are scheduled for completion and delivery in 2018 and 2019, respectively. They will be put into service for the Cameron LNG Project1 under way in the United States, an initiative in which Mitsui is participating. The event marks the first order placed to MHI for LNG carriers to transport shale gas.

The order for the two LNG carriers was received through MI LNG Company, Limited, a joint venture between MHI and Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. The vessels will be constructed at MHI's Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works. Specifications will be LOA (length overall) of 297.5m, width of 48.94m, depth of 27.0m and draft of 11.5m. The carriers will have four apple-shaped tanks, an improved version of high-reliability Moss-type2 tanks designed with a bulging upper half. Total holding capacity of the tanks will be 177,000 cubic meters (m3). LNG carrying efficiency has been increased as the vessel width has been kept to a size enabling its passage through the newly expanding Panama Canal expected to go into service early in 2016.

The LNG carriers on order feature a hybrid propulsion system dubbed "STaGE" (Steam Turbine and Gas Engines), which as its name implies combines a steam turbine and engines that can be fired by gas. STaGE's components consist of the "Ultra Steam Turbine plant" (UST), a highly efficient reheating steam type marine turbine developed independently by MHI, a dual-fuel diesel engine capable of operating on both gas and oil, and an electric propulsion motor. Plant efficiency has been substantially improved through the UST's effective use of the engine's waste heat, resulting in a propulsion system enabling high-efficiency navigation throughout a full range of speeds.

Demand for LNG as a fuel for generating power has been increasing not only in Japan but worldwide. Simultaneously, LNG produced in North America in tandem with America's "Shale Gas Revolution" is projected to grab an expanding share of the global market going forward, a trend that is resulting in longer LNG transport distances.

Against this backdrop, MHI looks to attract expanding demand for its next-generation LNG carriers offering superlative transport capacity, fuel efficiency and environmental performance. By focusing on securing a position of superiority amid intensifying competition worldwide, the company aims to contribute to both the domestic and global LNG transport industries.

1 The Cameron LNG Project is a project under way in the U.S. at Cameron LNG's LNG terminal in the state of Louisiana. The project calls for the establishment of a new natural gas liquefaction facility to refine and liquefy shale gas and other natural gases produced in the U.S. for export at a rate of up to 12 million tons per year. The launch of commercial production is scheduled for 2018.
2 Moss-type tanks are independent spherical tanks that are fixed to the hull by a cylindrical skirt.

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit or follow our insights and stories on