Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen to set up joint shipping company with Taiwan firms

03, Jul. 2019

TAIPEI, NNA – Japanese maritime transport giant Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. is planning to set up a joint-venture shipping company with three Taiwan firms to expand their coal and liquefied natural gas carrying capacity.

Kawasaki Kisen, better known as K Line, signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday in Taipei with government-backed Taiwan Power Co. (known as Taipower), U-Ming Marine Transport Co. and Kuang Ming Shipping Co.

The joint venture, is slated to be established in Taipei in October 2020 with a planned capitalization of 1 billion New Taiwan dollars ($32 million). Taipower will take a 40 percent stake, U-Ming 32.5 percent, Kuang Ming 20 percent and K Line the remaining 7.5 percent, Taipower said in a statement.

The Taiwanese electricity utility’s decision to tie up with K-Line in a joint venture is based on its long-term cooperative relationship with the Japanese company, which has been one of its major contractors shipping fuel coal for more than a decade, said Stanley Tsai, Taipower’s head of its fuel division.

K Line is the only company among the four that signed the MOU that owns LNG carriers, and this is “another reason that led to Taipower’s decision on the JV as Taipower would like to expand and diversify its supply of energy,” Tsai told NNA.

‘The JV will focus on transportation of coal only in the first decade if it’s successfully established and will expand to LNG in the next phase,” he said.

Tsai said the JV plans to operate six coal carriers initially, four of which will be transferred from Taipower to the JV, while the other two will be co-funded by all parties.

Together the carriers account for about 30 percent of the Taipower’s annual coal consumption,” he added.