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Mitsubishi Corporation, GDF SUEZ and NYK Form Partnership in LNG Bunkering Business

Tokyo, July 2, 2014 - (JCN Newswire) - Mitsubishi Corporation, GDF SUEZ and Nippon Yusen entered into a framework agreement on May 13, 2014, under which the partners will conduct further studies towards developing the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel for the shipping industry (LNG Bunkering Business). The initiative is being considered within the context of international regulations that seek to reduce the impact on shipping activities on the global environment.

As part of this study, the partners agreed on June 30 to work towards setting up sales and vessel holding joint ventures, including LNG bunkering operations at Belgium's main port, Zeebrugge, which are slated to start operations in 2016 with the supply of LNG fuel to United European Car Carriers (UECC), a Norwegian automobile carrier.

The operation at Zeebrugge will make use of a large-scale LNG bunkering vessel with a capacity of 5,100 cubic meter, the first of its kind in the world to go into full-scale operations. While the three companies are seeking to launch and develop this business in the European market, there are notable long-term prospects for further development globally. This assessment comes in light of the vast reserves of natural gas and the ensuing shale gas revolution in the US as well as the projection that Asia will continue to see remarkable economic growth and as such is poised to become a major demand market for shipping fuel.

International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations regarding the emission of noxious substances such as NOx, SOx and PM by large maritime vessels are becoming increasingly stringent. In relation to SOx, for instance, effective 2015, regulations in designated ECAs(1) will require that the concentration of sulfur content not surpass 0.1wt%, one tenth of the volume allowed at present.

Notwithstanding, LNG-based fueling for ships carries a much lower emission rate when compared with traditional petroleum based sources. The emission of SOx and PM, for instance, has been proven to be almost zero, while NOx and CO2 are lower by up to 80% and 30%, respectively. LNG is therefore gaining greater currency as the main fuel for shipping in Northern Europe.

One of the main concerns regarding the advance of LNG as a fuel source for the shipping industry revolves around the development of supply infrastructure. However, a complete change over from petroleum based infrastructure is estimated to yield some 190 million tons of LNG per year, which is approximately 80% of the 240 million tons per year already being supplied to the market. US energy consulting firm, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, estimates that LNG supplied to the shipping industry will reach some 65 million tons per year in 2030.

Combining GDF SUEZ's experience of over 40 years in the LNG business and NYK's proven success in LNG transportation with the presence of MC's LNG portfolio in providing a stable supply of energy to the market, this new venture also provides another opportunity to contribute to the protection of the global environment.

About Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC; TSE: 8058) is a global integrated business enterprise that develops and operates businesses across virtually every industry including industrial finance, energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, foods, and environmental business. MC's current activities are expanding far beyond its traditional trading operations as its diverse business ranges from natural resources development to investment in retail business, infrastructure, financial products and manufacturing of industrial goods. With over 200 bases of operations in approximately 80 countries worldwide and a network of over 500 group companies, MC employs a multinational workforce of nearly 60,000 people. For more information, please visit www.mitsubishicorp.com.



Source: Mitsubishi Corporation

Contact:
Mitsubishi Corporation
Telephone:+81 3 3210 2171 
Facsimile:+81 3 5252 7705


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