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Press release - thanks to www.btimes.com.my

MISC Bhd, the world's biggest owner of liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, has placed a fresh order to build as many as four tankers, executives familiar with the matter said yesterday.

The contract value for the four 38,000 deadweight tonne carriers is estimated collectively to be in the region of US$200 million (RM730 million).

Business Times was told that MISC had commissioned STX Shipbuilding Co, South Korea's seventh largest shipyard, to build the petrochemical carriers.

The contract was signed in Kuala Lumpur some two weeks ago between MISC and STX. Under the terms of the agreement, MISC will start receiving the tankers by as early as 2009.

MISC, which is 62 per cent-owned by state energy firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd, had in April signed a similar contract with STX.

According to an MISC statement to Bursa Malaysia, dated April 21, the company had commissioned to purchase from STX four tankers.

"The purchase consideration for each tanker is US$45.6 million (RM166 million)," MISC had said in the statement to the stock exchange.

It is understood that the terms of the new order is similar to the agreement reached with STX for the April purchase.

The national shipping company, with an asset base of slightly more than RM25 billion, currently operates a fleet of 108 vessels, including 49 petroleum tankers, 18 chemical tankers and 21 LNG tankers.

MISC, which has contracts with parent Petronas to carry the state-owned company's oil and gas exports, registered net sales of RM10.76 billion, together with net income of RM2.94 billion for the financial year ended March 2006.

The company declared a final dividend of 20 sen a share and a special dividend of 20 sen a share, amounting to a total payout of RM744 million.


Am I getting mixed up with LNG & LPG but I thought that brand new tankers were laid up in Norwegian fjords..? Can anyone help me out on the differences please..? Thanks.

Rushie
 

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There is a big mix-up here I'm afraid. Although it is true that MISC are one of the largest operators of LNG carriers, the new orders referred to in the article are for chemical tankers.

Cheers
Phil
 

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With regard to your question Rushie, LNG (Liquified Natuaral Gas) is a liquified processed form of raw natural gas, the stuff that is produced direct from gas fields. It is shipped in large vessels that have expensive refrigeration and insulation plants capable of maintaining a temperature of -163 deg. C.
LNG is seen as the new 'clean' fuel and it is therefore driving a huge programme of investment in LNG carriers. The orderbook for new ships currently stands at 139 ships, some 94% of the existing fleet and it is expected to grow quite considerably over the coming decade. The days of laying up LNG carriers in Norwegian fjords has long gone after the industry had a bit of a false start in the 1970s and 80s.

LPG is Liquid Petroleum gas which is a by-product of crude oil and a mixture of hydrocarbon gases. It can come in various varieties including butane, propane, propylene, etc. It is shipped in vessels that have either fully pressurised, fully refrigerated, or fully pressurised/semi-refrigerated cargo tanks. Again, LPG is seen as a particularly clean fuel, so investment in this sector has also been rising in recent years, though the emphasis tends to be on smaller ships.

Cheers
Phil
 
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