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Clifford Chance advises Japanese shipowner MOL on long-term contract for pioneering LNG bunker vessel

21 September 2019

Clifford Chance advises Japanese shipowner MOL on long-term contract for pioneering LNG bunker vessel

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance advised Japanese shipowner Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) on the tender process to provide a pioneering Liquefied Natural Gas bunker vessel (LNGBV) on long-term charter contract to Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions. This is the first LNGBV of this scale globally at 18,600 m³ to be built in China and delivered in 2020. The vessel will operate in Northern Europe and will be the first ever LNGBV capable of supplying large quantities of LNG in one single bunkering operation.

In Singapore, partner Kate Sherrard led on the deal and was supported by associate Sebastian Lea. Clifford Chance Paris, London and Tokyo teams were also involved.

Kate said, "Our teams across jurisdictions were delighted to support MOL on the chartering and shipbuilding contracts for this first of its kind LNGBV. This year has brought with it stricter governance on vessel emissions and are forcing operators to consider using LNG fuel as an alternative. With this commitment from MOL and its partners in this transaction, we see that LNG fuel for vessels is now a reality."

MOL is a multi-modal transport group with a 130 year history. It operates one of the world's largest merchant fleets. In addition to LNG bunkering, MOL is expanding into the growing FSRU and gas to power sectors.