22 July 2011, Hong Kong – Mayer Brown is pleased to announce that it has advised Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL) and China Shipping Development Company Ltd (CSD) in relation to a project for the acquisition, financing and long-term time charter of four liquefied natural gas carriers with a combined value of up to US$1 billion to be built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

These are the first LNG vessels to be built for MOL and CSD in China and are expected to be delivered in 2015-2016. Mayer Brown has been involved in the project from the time of development of the criteria and procedures for selection of the shipyard and has advised on the terms of all matters to finalise the shipbuilding contracts, time charterparties, supervision and management arrangements and pre- and post-delivery financing for the vessels.

Alastair MacAulay, partner of Mayer Brown who advised on this transaction, said: "This was a ground breaking transaction, these being the first LNG vessels built in China for long-term charter to a foreign charterer, and required the strong support of the Project Sponsors, Shipbuilders, Charterers and Chinese and foreign banks to bring it to a successful close on the tight time line needed to ensure timely delivery of the vessels to meet the requirements of the Charterers under their gas sale agreements with Chinese offtakers.”

The Mayer Brown team was led by shipping partner Alastair MacAulay in Hong Kong.