Japan-based Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), owner of the world's largest merchant fleet, has announced the formation of a very large gas carrier (VLGC) pool called LPG Global Transport, along with Gulf LPG Transport Company WLL of Qatar (Gulf LPG).
The pool will start operation immediately. MOL and Gulf LPG have jointly incorporated LPG Global Transport Management Inc to manage the pool's business operations.
Both MOL and Gulf LPG are bullish about the future expansion of global LPG seaborne trade, especially from Qatar. LPG Global Transport will be able to offer enhanced services to LPG charterers and create efficiencies by optimising voyage costs through efficient deployment of the combined fleet.
To serve its worldwide customers in the most flexible, economical, and reliable manner, LPG Global Transport will build and expand its fleet. Gulf LPG will add one new building in March and MOL will add seven new buildings to be delivered during the second half of 2009 and the first half of 2010 to LPG Global Transport.
Fleet supply is "bloated" because reduced crude output by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) is cutting exports of LPG, DnB NOR Markets ASA said on Tuesday in a note to clients, according to Bloomberg.
Benchmark rental rates for LPG carriers have dropped to $16.44 (Dh60.39) a metric tonne from a record $81.64 a tonne on July 23 last year, according to data from the London-based Baltic Exchange, a 265-year-old shipping bourse.