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Mitsui expands LNG processing fleet with eye on Southeast Asia

Floating units offer cheaper alternative to onshore facilities

A floating storage regasification unit, left, processes LNG directly from the carrier.

TOKYO -- Mitsui O.S.K. Lines will more than double its fleet of LNG regasification ships, a low-cost alternative to onshore import terminals, to tap into a construction boom for gas-fired power stations in such developing regions as Southeast Asia.

The Japanese maritime shipper will add six floating storage regasification units (FSRUs), bringing its total to 10 by 2025. This is part of plans to expand its LNG-related fleet to 110 vessels by the same year from about 90 at present. The company is expected to invest upward of 100 billion yen ($940 million) for these efforts, including vessels for joint ownership.

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