Shell Gas & Power (Shell) last week announced the naming of its new build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carrier ‘Gallina’ at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan.

The vessel is the second in a series of four – three of which have been secured from MHI – against the background of a growing portfolio of Shell LNG projects around the world, and will help meet growing demand for liquefied natural gas. The first was officially named ‘Galea’ in September 2002.

The ceremony was attended by Malcolm Brinded, managing director of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies and Haruyuki Niimi, Chairman and CEO of Showa Shell Sekiyu KK. In line with the tradition the vessel, which was named by Mrs Motoko Niimi, was given the name of a shell. Gallina shells are found in the marine protected areas around the Adriatic and Black Sea.

Shell is the world’s leading private company in LNG supply and shipping. With the start of projects in both Oman and Nigeria, Shell’s equity capacity is approaching 10 million tonnes per annum and further growth is expected. The new vessel is another important step in realising Shell’s plans to develop new markets for LNG.

The vessel also maintains a long-term relationship between Shell and the Mitsubishi group. The Gallina has a capacity of 135,000 cubic metres and will utilise the Moss containment system. The other vessels in the series will be delivered in fourth quarter 2003 and first quarter 2004.

Linda Cook, CEO of Shell Gas & Power, said: “This vessel will help maintain Shell’s leadership position and support our investment strategy in global LNG by providing shipping capacity to link downstream markets in the US, Europe and the Asia Pacific with Shell LNG production projects.”

Like its recently commissioned sister ship ‘Galea’, this carrier is not committed to a specific project. Instead it will be used to facilitate the development of a portfolio of upstream and downstream LNG projects in the Asia Pacific, Mediterranean and Atlantic Basin.

The vessels will be manned and operated by Shell International Trading & Shipping Co. Ltd (STASCO). Shell has over 300 officers qualified to serve in senior positions on LNG ships.

Shell’s vice president for shipping, Jan Kopernicki, said: “STASCO has applied its extensive expertise in LNG vessel construction and operation to the design of the three LNG vessels being built by MHI. The Gallina will provide a valuable addition to the LNG fleet managed by STASCO and continue to set the standard for high quality operations.”