World's LNG Fleet Numbers Pass 200

A building boom in LNG shipbuilding has pushed the global numbers to more than 200 ships and shipyard backorders indicate that the 300th vessel will be delivered before the end of the decade. Just eight years ago, only 100 such vessels were plying the LNG trades. A.P. Moller, leading the way with six LNG vessels on order, expects to take delivery on several ships in the next 18 months.

The potential for the accelerated building schedule to pick up even faster is good, especially if a fair percentage of the 40+ proposed LNG terminals proposed for the north American market can achieve regulatory and local approvals. Korean and Japanese builders are battling to be the leading builders of LNG ships; each now has delivered more than 60 ships. China is expected to give both a run for their money as their nascent shipbuilding industry picks up steam. Growing worldwide demand, especially in the west, has fueled a more active spot market that is expected to expand to meet demand.