LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) is attracting global attention and demanded as a source of clean energy.
Dating back to 1983, "K" LINE commenced LNG sea transport as the holding and management company of the first Japanese LNG carrier named "Bishu Maru." Efforts have been undertaken ever since to expand the fleet. At present, we hold 22 carriers including Bishu Maru, which are deployed for sea transportation in 7 large-scale LNG projects.a Badak II and Arun II are the large-scale projects for transportation of LNG from Indonesia in which 7 LNG carriers have been deployed for the past 20 years. In both projects, we have already recorded our 1200th no-accident voyage, which unquestionably demonstrates "K" LINE’s trustworthy system for safety in navigation and cargo operations.
In the Qatar project that started from 1997, 10 LNG carriers have been dedicated and are now successfully transporting 6 million tons of LNG per year from Qatar to Japan for a period of 25 years. "K" LINE, a participating line, has been gaining firm confidence from customers as well as continuing its record for accident-free voyages.
The above achievements have given a steady foothold to our Company for its newly-emerging business outside-Japan. "K" Line has succeeded in engaging in sea transport of Middle East-produced LNG to Korea, after which we engaged in both the Petronet Project and the Snohvit Project , we are going to engage in carrying LNG to India from Qatar and to the U.S. and Spain from Norway, respectively. This series of new business offensives was carried out in succession without hesitation. Furthermore, in the RasGas Project, "K" Line proceeded with signing time-charter-in contracts in Oct. 2002, Jan. 2003 and Oct. 2003, which have contributed in a large amount to expansion of our fleet for off-Japan trade.a Of late, a steep increase in tonnage for the LNG trade is prospected in the Atlantic basin. To keep up with the trend, the Company is postured to positively participate in transportation of cargo bound for the above areas. In this stream, we opened a base in London in May 2002 as a new stronghold for business promotion and ship management, and also set up a base in Houston in the U.S. in July 2003. This series of strategic arrangements has led us to completion of our unique tripolar system. Now that we are firmly established in the tripolar base, i.e. the center of the global LNG business, we will be actively involved in all market trends, challenging the services of our rivals by providing customers with our differentiating expertise.
It is a pleasure to report that by utilizing technology and experience that we have gained in the area of LNG carriers, the Company is now also studying and developing sea transport of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) that is expected to be substantially in practice within a few years. Marine transport of CNG is featured by carriage of compressed natural gas. This new method of transport is expected to create previously unexplored demand from small and medium-scale gas wells that have been difficult to commercialize, and from those new countries/regions that are currently planning on the introduction of natural gas.
In the LNG projects that require hardware and software experience, knowledge and technology, we are proud that "K" LNE is being selected as a trustworthy marine transport company. We will exert every possible effort to secure the safety of humanity, ships and cargo, and to contribute to preservation of the earthly environment. By so doing, we are committed to supporting safe and long-term supply of LNG, the very source of clean energy for the ever-growing global market.