CSD play Li eyes LNG carriers
China Shipping Development chairman Li Shaode said the company"s 90%-controlled liquefied natural gas joint venture in China may acquire new LNG tankers this year.
Speaking at the announcement of the company"s annual results in Hong Kong, Mr Li (pictured) said the LNG joint venture, which was jointly established by China National Petroleum Corp in March 2009 with a registered capital of $5m, would be mainly engaged in carrying LNG from CNPC"s gas fields in Australia to China.
Mr Li said that while the joint venture had yet to finalise the size and composition of its LNG tanker fleet, that did not rule out the possibility of it placing orders at China shipyards by the end of this year.
Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Dalian Shipbuilding Industry are the only Chinese shipyards that have the capacity to produce LNG tankers.
CSD and CNPC already have plans for when LNG shipments would begin, although Mr Li said it could not be disclosed publicly yet.
Mr Li denied reports that the company"s parent group, China Shipping Group, formed another LNG joint venture with the Danish container giant Maersk, saying that the two companies had exchanged information on LNG technology.
Mr Li said CSD renewed its coal shipping contracts this month with an average 10.5% increase in freight rate. He applauded the joint venture formed between CSD and China"s leading coal miner, China Shenhua Energy, at the end of January, which he said would stabilise coal shipping volume.
The joint venture transported a total of 5.5m tonnes of coal to date, equivalent to the total coal volume carried last year by CSD"s other coal shipping joint ventures.
In terms of iron ore shipment, 16 very large ore carriers were scheduled for delivery by the end of 2012. Of the ships, 10 had entered into long-term contracts of affreightment with Chinese steel giants such as Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group).
With the expansion of its ore carrier fleet, the proportion of total Chinese imports of iron ore carried by CSD would increase in the long run to 10% from the current 3%, Mr Li said.