November 24, 2006 - TOKYO, Japan. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K" Line President Hiroyuki Maekawa) announced today that management of its LNG carriers trading mainly in the Asia Pacific region will be transferred from "K" Line Tokyo headquarters to "K" Line Ship Management Co., Ltd. (KLSM), a ship management subsidiary owned 100% by "K" Line.
KLSM is one of the key in-house ship management companies in the "K" Line Group and is currently engaged in the management of LPG carriers, oil and product tankers in addition to containerships.
"K" Line has participated in LNG transport as the first Japanese owner and operator since 1983, and has made continuous efforts to expand its business during the past quarter of a century. As of today, "K" Line owns 31 LNG carriers and undertakes the management of 7 of them (4 from Tokyo and 3 from London ). Consistent with the continually strong worldwide demand for LNG as a clean energy source, "K" Line is succeeding in expanding its participation in this business, and will increase its LNG ship fleet to a total of 48 by the year 2009, with 15 of them to be managed by the "K" Line Group.
"K" Line recognizes the importance of its role as an ocean transporter in promoting the value of LNG in the energy chain. As a result of making every possible effort to provide safe and reliable transportation services, its LNG ship operations have achieved a “zero accident” track record. In the process of its business expansion, "K" Line is restructuring its organization and transferring ship management handled by Tokyo headquarters to KLSM in order to enhance the company's overall LNG ship management system and provide the safest, most efficient and effective ship operations, concentrating on the expertise, technical information, management techniques and know-how cultivated by both companies, especially with regard to gas carriers and oil/product tankers. Concurrent with this restructuring and ship management transfer, the company is further developing and promoting its dedicated educational programs for attracting and securing the best qualified seafarers possible for service on vessels operated worldwide by any member of the "K" Line Group.
Transfer procedures will be completed by the end of 2006 and KLSM will start business as ship manager of LNG ships effective January 1, 2007.