An LNG vessel under construction at DSME, Korea.
‘During this decade the LNG shipping industry has enjoyed an average growth rate of eight percent a year, Norway-based ship research and analysis company RS Platou’s preliminary estimates have suggested. RS Platou said that the biggest contributor for the increase has been the upsurge in arbitrage trade between the Atlantic and Pacific basin. According to their numbers, the global LNG fleet swelled by 22 percent in 2008, with a record high of 54 vessels delivered. However, only eight new build contracts were inked in 2008 and one Japanese shipyard received a conversion contract. “At the end of 2008, the order book amounted to 80 LNG carriers, of which more than half are due for delivery in 2009,” said the report.