MOL outlines three-ship venture to carry fertiliser.
Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines has confirmed the launch of a long-term agreement with Caribbean-based company Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) to operate three ships carrying urea ammonium nitrate solution that are expected to generate ¥2bn ($22m) in revenues.
The Japanese shipowner said the contracts, which will initially last for 15 years, started in mid-February but had only just been confirmed. The deal included the possibility of extending the contracts to 20 years.
MOL is operating three ships: a 36,000 dwt chemical tanker and two 47,000 dwt vessels. A MOL spokeswoman said that all three ships were built by South Korea"s Hyundai Heavy Industries and were delivered from the end of last year.
The vessels are the first to be dedicated to the transport of the urea-based solution.
The shipowner confirmed it was looking at further opportunities in the sector. The spokeswoman told Lloyd"s List: ?The demand of urea ammonium nitrate solution as fertiliser is increasing. We expect that the trade volume will be increasing as well.?
Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) loaded its first cargo of urea ammonium nitrate solution onboard the 2009-built, 47,128 dwt Forres Park towards the end of last month bound for Stockton on the US west coast. The Hong Kong-flagged vessel is one of the three operated by MOL.
The three combined chemical and oil tankers have joined Methanol Holdings" existing fleet of nine dedicated methanol tankers.