Japanese shipbuilders are raising their share in the LNG carrier market where Korean and Japanese shipbuilders recorded a market share of 55 percent and 26.8 percent two years ago, respectively. The latter’s share had been higher until the 1990s, but the former overtook them at that time by taking advantage of the weak won and expanding their facilities.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is currently building high-tech LNG carriers with high fuel economy. They come with large-capacity tanks and engines consuming less fuel along with improved design, allowing the fuel to be saved by 20 percent. The company had a total of eight LNG carriers in its order backlog as of October last year.
Japan Marine United and IHI resumed their large LNG carrier building in two decades. They adopt SPB, their own tank design technique, so as to improve the durability of their ships.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, in the meantime, developed an LNG carrier in which loading capacity is increased by 10 percent, and in which fuel costs are reduced based on the improvement of the LNG tank without any adjustment of the hull size. The ship is scheduled to be put to commercial use in 2017, and the company is planning to build 20 units of it by 2020.