Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding Co. Receives Its First Order:Very Large LPG Carrier for Astomos Energy
Tokyo, November 2, 2015 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a Group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), has received an order from Astomos Energy Corporation for a very large liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carrier. 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 to MHI since 2013. The ship provides the world's highest level of energy-saving performance, flexibility to accommodate major LPG terminals around the globe, and specifications suited to passage through the newly expanding Panama Canal. Completion and delivery are scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018.
Besides the newly ordered carrier, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding will also build or complete the four ships previously ordered by Astomos Energy to 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 12mtpy by 2017. The order newly placed to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding is an integral part of that initiative. The new carrier, when completed, will replace a vessel owned by Astomos Energy that was built in the early 1990s.
With the emergence of the "shale gas revolution" in the United States, demand for LPG produced in North America is projected to increase over the medium to long term in markets worldwide, including East Asia. In tandem with this expansionary trend, coupled with the enlargement of the Panama Canal, newly constructed ships must offer increased carrying capacities and be able to transport over longer distances. They must also perform to tightening environmental restrictions imposed on such ship navigations. The LPG carrier newly ordered by Astomos Energy to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding will satisfy these various requirements and simultaneously meet the needs of the company's plan to build the world's most advanced LPG carrier fleet.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipbuilding was established as a shipbuilding company succeeding to the commercial ship construction business of MHI in the Nagasaki area. The new firm focuses on the construction of LPG and LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers and is pursuing enhancement of production efficiency through continuous construction of the identical ship type.