ExxonMobil and MOL order LNG ships in China

Chinese shipyards continue to make inroads into even the most challenging sectors of the market. China's Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding  Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, is to build four LNG ships for  Exxon Mobil Corporation (ExxonMobil) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL).

The shipyard is a GTT (Gaztransport & Technigaz) licensee and has previously delivered five 147,200 cu.m LNG carriers for China LNG Shipping with another set for delivery in 2012.

The Exxon Mobil, MOL ships will provide LNG transportation from the Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Gorgon Jansz LNG projects and will be jointly owned by MOL and China Shipping (Group) Company (CS).

The four LNG carriers are expected to be delivered in the 2015-2016 period.

"This project will provide a reliable source of clean energy to help China meet its growing energy demand. We are committed to working with our partners and Hudong to deliver high quality, reliable and cost effective LNG carriers for our LNG projects that will be competitive on a global scale," said Mr. Mark Albers, senior vice president, Exxon Mobil Corporation.

"MOL is pleased to be engaged in this China LNG shipping project, working with ExxonMobil, Hudong and CS for the construction of four new quality LNG ships. This is the first time for MOL to secure LNG ships in China, and we believe that with concerted efforts by all the parties concerned, the objective of this project will be accomplished in a professional manner," said Mr. Akimitsu Ashida, chairman, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

"We're pleased to be selected by ExxonMobil and MOL as a partner in the China LNG shipping project. We'll work diligently to design, build and deliver four high quality LNG carriers," said Mr. Tan Zuojun, president, China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

In 2009, an ExxonMobil affiliate and its co-venturers in the PNG LNG project entered into a sales and purchase agreement with Sinopec for the long-term supply of LNG totaling approximately 2.0 million tonnes per annum.  Also in the same year, an affiliate of ExxonMobil and PetroChina signed a sales and purchase agreement for the long-term supply of approximately 2.25 million tonnes per annum of LNG from ExxonMobil's equity share of the Gorgon Jansz LNG project in Western Australia.