THE Marshall Islands Registry expects to have 3m gt of Japanese-owned tonnage by the end of the year through business won from Mitsui OSK Lines.
Japanese shipowners have committed 35 vessels totaling 1.5 million gross tons to the Marshall Islands flag in 2009. In total, Asian shipowners will contribute some 2.8 million gross tons in 2009 with 750,000 gross tons from Korea and 500,000 gross tons from China.
The Marshall Islands fleet has grown by 30 percent a year, on average, for the last five years and has been the world s fourth largest registry since 2005. As of 30 April 2009, the Marshall Islands fleet comprised more than 2000 vessels at 49.2 million gross tons and is expected to surpass the 50 million gross ton mark by year s end.
Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) became the first major shipowner in Japan, in '06, to register a vessel with the Marshall Islands Maritime Registry. Vessel was the Opal Express, a 28,850gt product tanker newbuilding from the Iwagi Zosen shipyard in Japan.
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