Global Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) carrier fleet surpassed the 400 vessel mark for the first time mid-April, according to Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO).
In its market review (week 19, 2014) IMDO said that the LNG carrier fleet has experienced a remarkable growth path since the first commercial cargo of LNG was delivered from Algeria to the UK almost 50 years ago, in October 1964.
Thirty-four years passed before the LNG fleet reached 100 vessels and passed the 200 vessel mark as recently as 2006, but as demand for natural gas soared, fleet growth accelerated exponentially, reaching 300 vessels by December 2008.
Due to the global financial crisis, the orderbook shrank dramatically and it taking until now to reach the 400 vessel landmark. Fleet growth is hastening however, with 120 LNG carriers currently on order and the 500th vessel due for delivery late – 2016.
The reviving LNG fleet growth is being driven by strong Asian demand and the seven LNG liquefaction plants under construction in Australia are targeting the rising requirements of the region.
China received 260 cargoes in 2013, from 206 in 2012, while there were 82 deliveries to the South East Asia quartet of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
imdo, May 15, 2014