MOL Orders Four More LNG-Fueled Car Carriers at Japanese Yards

beluga ace
File image courtesy MOL

Published May 13, 2022 4:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

Japanese carrier Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has ordered an additional four vessels that will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the main fuel.

The company, which is implementing a plan to expand its car carrying fleet, announced it has reached an agreement with Japan-based Nihon Shipyard and Shin Kurushima Dockyard to build four 7,000-unit capacity car carriers. The newly ordered ships are scheduled for delivery in succession from 2024-2025, and the announcement brings the company’s total orders for LNG-fueled car carriers to eight in less than a year.

The company ordered four LNG-fueled vessels in August last year, which are slated for delivery in 2024. The eight vessels form part of a fleet expansion program that is expected to cost $5.3 billion. MOL ultimately plans to increase the size of its car carrier fleet operating on LNG to 90 vessels by 2030.

“MOL strives to become the company of choice for various stakeholders by delivering new value, specifically, zero-emission transport of completed cars,” said the company in a statement.

The company added that it is determined to accelerate initiatives on adoption of clean alternative fuels, including LNG, biofuels, ammonia, hydrogen and synthetic methane.

Last year, the company said that its wholly owned subsidiary Euro Marine Logistics had started sea trials of the car carrier City Of Oslo using biofuel.  

MOL, which operates about 100 car carriers and is one of the world’s largest operators in the segment, seeks to cut its emissions intensity by about 45 percent by 2035 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The company revealed that it intends to invest a total of $12.2 billion in LNG- and next-generation fuel-powered vessels over the period (including funds invested by MOL's partner shipowners).