LNG Carriers Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The market is segmented by Containment Type (Membrane Type and Moss type), Propulsion Type (Steam Turbines, Dual-Fuel Diesel Engine/Tri-Fuel Diesel Engine(DFDE/TFDE), Slow-Speed Diesel (SSD), M-type Electronically Controlled Gas Injection (ME-GI), XDF-Two-stroke Engine, Steam Re-heat and Stage) and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle-East and Africa, and South America)

Market Snapshot

LNG Carrier Market Overview
Study Period: 2018- 2026
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Europe
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: >3.6 %

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Market Overview

The LNG carrier market is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 3.6% during the forecast period. LNG carriers are the tank ships designed to carry Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at a cryogenic temperature of -161°C. The COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the growth of the market as the demand for gas declined in the first half of 2020. The European sector which is an important geographical region for the market is expected to take a lot of time to recover which was expected to invest a high amount in the market. Factors such as flexible deployment capabilities, increased efficiency are expected to drive the market in the coming years. Global consumption of LNG is expected to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period, driven by supportive government regulations and increasing demand from several end-user industries including power generation, industrial, etc. With the new carrier fleet entering the market and with regional shipping imbalances, there has been a fluctuation in the charter rates of the carriers. This factor is expected to hinder the market growth.

  • Membrane type containment is the largest segment of the global LNG carrier market as of 2019, owing to its higher carrying capacity and increased visibility. This segment is expected to continue to dominance in the market during the forecast period.
  • Many terminals are adjusting to accommodate small-scale and bunkering vessels to comply with emissions targets and capture new commercial opportunities. Conventional oil-based fuels will remain the main fuel option for most vessels in the near future, and, at the same time, the commercial opportunities of LNG are much interesting for many projects.
  • The Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the market with a majority of the demand coming from the countries such as China and Japan.

Scope of the Report

The LNG carriers market report includes:

Containment Type
Propulsion Type
Steam Turbines
Dual Fuel Diesel Engine/Tri-Fuel Diesel Engine (DFDE/TFDE)
Slow-Speed Diesel (SSD)
M-type Electronically Controlled Gas Injection (ME-GI)
XDF- Two Stroke Engine
Steam Re-heat and Stage
North America
South America
Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Membrane Type Containment to Dominate the Market

  • The membrane type segment has the largest market share in 2019, accounting for more than 75% of the market in 2019, owing to its higher carrying capacity and other advantages. This containment segment is expected to dominate the global market throughout the forecast period.
  • The most common membrane tank systems have been designed by Gaztransport and Technigaz (GTT). Several GTT systems have already been implemented onboard LNG carriers for many years and other designs from different companies have been developed.
  • At the end of 2019, 419 units of the active fleet had a GTT membrane type containment system which also continues to lead the order book as the preferred containment option.
  • Due to technological advancement, the membrane type containment has a superior capacity to bear the large pressure of LNG and its compact shape to carry large LNG volumes as compared to moss type containment.
  • Therefore, with largest market share and existing fleet by containment type (active), the demand for LNG carrier market is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period.
LNG Carrier Market Share

Asia Pacific to Dominate the Market

  • Asia Pacific accounted for the largest LNG carrier market share in 2019, owing to increased demand for natural gas because of high industrial growth and adoption of clean energy sources. Therefore, this region is expected to continue its dominance in the market throughout the forecast period. Most of the demand in the region came from the People's republic of China.
  • In 2020, the Chinese government announced that it is building the largest liquefied natural gas carrier with a capacity of 270,000 cubic meters, to meet the rising demand for clean fuel in the country. China’s LNG import is still severely dependent on foreign LNG carriers, with an external capacity dependence rate of around 60%.
  • Furthermore, China imported more than 61.7 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2019, a 14.3% increase compared to 2018, reaching a new historical high by accounting for 17.4% of the total natural gas import. In 2018, more than 354 million metric ton of LNG was imported. Therefore, this made China an important contributor to the global LNG industry's development and prosperity.
  • The industry is also looking for better ways to produce LNG carriers such as - The Sayaendo type vessel, produced by Mitsubishi, which is an improvement to the traditional Moss Rosenberg system. The spherical tanks are elongated in an apple-shape, increasing volumetric efficiency. They are then covered with a lightweight prismatic hull to reduce wind resistance. Sayaendo vessels are powered by Ultra Steam Turbine plants, a steam reheat engine, improving efficiency on a regular steam turbine engine. Additionally, the Sayaringo Steam Turbine and Gas Engine (STaGE) type vessel, also produced by Mitsubishi, is a further improvement on the Sayaendo type vessel. The STaGE vessel adopts the shape of the Sayaendo alongside a hybrid propulsion system, combining a steam turbine and gas engine to maximize efficiency. Eight STaGE newbuilds were delivered during 2018 and 2019.
  • Furthermore, the growing LNG consumption by various end-user industries, such as manufacturing, petrochemicals, and fertilizers is on a consistent rise in China and South Korea whereas; Japan prevalently consumes LNG for power generation. These are the countries that are expected to majorly aid in the growth of the Asia-Pacific market.
LNG Carrier Market Growth

Competitive Landscape

The global LNG carriers market is moderately fragmented. Some of the major companies operating in the market include Royal Dutch Shell plc, (Shell), Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), Misc Berhad (Misc), and Teekay Corporation.

Recent Developments

  • In February 2021, Maran Gas ordered five LNG carriers at Samsung on the back of a new relationship with Total, although four of the vessels are among a haul of 17 orders by four different owners that remain subject to finalising charters for the French energy giant’s Mozambique project
  • In February 2021, as part of a fleet modernization effort, Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines confirmed the retirement of one of its oldest LNG carriers. The vessel was replaced by a newly delivered ship which has a 44 percent larger carrying capacity.
  • LNG Carrier - Christophe de Margerie safely completed her passage eastward along the Northern Sea Route in 11 days, while navigating the entire length of the NSR without icebreaker assistance. After discharging her cargo at the port of Jiangsu, China on January 27, 2020, the vessel sailed back towards Sabetta. This is an experimental LNG carrier being used to understand the artic route, which in the future may open new opportunities for the market.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Scope of the Study

    2. 1.2 Market Definition

    3. 1.3 Study Assumptions




    1. 4.1 Introduction

    2. 4.2 Market Size and Demand Forecast in USD billion, till 2026

    3. 4.3 Global LNG Carrier Fleet (Historical and Forecast) in Number of Vessels, until 2026

    4. 4.4 Recent Trends and Developments

    5. 4.5 Government Policies and Regulations

    6. 4.6 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.6.1 Drivers

      2. 4.6.2 Restraints

    7. 4.7 Supply Chain Analysis

    8. 4.8 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.8.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.8.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.8.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.8.4 Threat of Substitutes Products and Services

      5. 4.8.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Containment Type

      1. 5.1.1 Moss

      2. 5.1.2 Membrane

    2. 5.2 Propulsion Type

      1. 5.2.1 Steam Turbines

      2. 5.2.2 Dual Fuel Diesel Engine/Tri-Fuel Diesel Engine (DFDE/TFDE)

      3. 5.2.3 Slow-Speed Diesel (SSD)

      4. 5.2.4 M-type Electronically Controlled Gas Injection (ME-GI)

      5. 5.2.5 XDF- Two Stroke Engine

      6. 5.2.6 Steam Re-heat and Stage

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

      2. 5.3.2 Asia-Pacific

      3. 5.3.3 Europe

      4. 5.3.4 South America

      5. 5.3.5 Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    3. 6.3 Market Share Analysis

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Ship Builders

        1. Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd

        2. Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co. Ltd

        3. Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. Ltd

        4. STX Offshore and Shipbuilding

        5. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd

        6. Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd

        7. China Shipbuilding Trading Co. Ltd

        8. Japan Marine United Corporation

        9. Hanjin Heavy Industry Co. Ltd

      2. 6.4.2 Ship Operators

        1. Royal Dutch Shell PLC

        2. Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha

        3. Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd

        4. Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Berhad (MISC)

        5. Teekay Shipping Corporation

        6. Maran Gas Maritime Inc.

        7. Golar LNG

        8. BW LPG

        9. GasLog Ltd

        10. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (“K” LINE)

    5. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The LNG Carriers Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The LNG Carriers Market is growing at a CAGR of >3.6% over the next 5 years.

Europe is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2019.

Royal Dutch Shell plc,(Shell) , Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) , Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) , Misc Berhad (Misc) , Teekay Corporation are the major companies operating in LNG Carriers Market.

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