Japan's Togas orders ‘Pacific-Max’ LNG carrier

Monday, 12 November 2007

Togas said it aimed to maximize the vessel’s tank capacity while providing compatibility with major terminals in the Asia-Pacific region.


The “Pacific-Max” LNG carrier will have 22,000 cubic metres additional capacity compared with the largest current Togas carrier on order at 155,000 cubic metres capacity, though Togas has already sold off majority control of the large carrier to a shipping company and taken out a long-term charter.


The largest in-service carriers of Togas have 147,000 cubic metres capacity. The Japanese company’s new ship will still be much smaller than Qatar’s Q-Flex and Q-Max carriers at 215,000 and 265,000 metres capacity respectively.


The new-build will be the eighth LNG tanker owned by Tokyo LNG Tanker Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of Togas. It will be equipped with four spherical Moss tanks.


Improved turbines will make it more fuel-efficient than similar tankers, Togas said.


With the new LNG tanker's addition to the subsidiary's fleet, Togas said it intended to reduce transportation costs and improve purchasing flexibility.


Togas also signed a Heads of Agreement with Nippon Yusen Kaisha for joint ownership (Tokyo LNG Tanker 10 percent, NYK Line 90 percent) of the newbuild and a time charter for a 20-year term.


This will be the eighth LNG carrier in the Togas fleet.


The four-tank Moss-type carrier will also be equipped with Kawasaki’s Advanced Reheat Turbine Plant for propulsion. It will be the first LNG carrier to employ such a system, enabling 15 percent higher fuel efficiency, Togas said.


After its completion in 2011, together with existing LNG carriers, the ship will transport LNG cargoes for Togas from the Northwest Shelf expansion project in northwestern Australia, the Malaysia I and III project, the Darwin plant in Australia, and the Gazprom-owned Sakhalin II project in the Russian Far East.


It will also be available for the Pluto and Gorgon projects being developed in Australia. NYK Line is appointed to be the ship manager under the 20 year-term time charter.


“By managing eight LNG carriers, Togas intends to procure LNG not only through long-term contracts, but also through short-term, spot contracts and other innovative methods,” Togas said.