MOL Signs Cable-lay MOU with Kokusai Cable Ship

  • Oct 02, 2021
  • Gulf Oil & Gas

Kokusai Cable Ship Co., Ltd. and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced that on September 24, 2021, they concluded a memorandum of

understanding (MoU) on collaborative operation of cable-laying ships to meet

increasing demand for installation of power cables—a key element of supply chains in

the globally expanding offshore wind farm business.

KCS was established in 1966 and the following year launched the KDD Maru, Japan’s

first submarine cable-laying ship. Over the ensuing half century, the company has been

involved in the construction of some 70,000km of undersea cables, mainly in the Asia-

Pacific region. It is a leading company in submarine cable-laying and maintenance, and

oversees the maintenance of over 87,000km of cable. In 2019, KCS launched the

KDDI Cable Infinity, Japan’s first self-propelled power and telecommunication cable-

laying ship.

MOL and its group company MOL Marine & Engineering Co., Ltd. (MOLMEC) have

managed and operated a total of four (Fig.1) KCS-owned cable-laying ships including the

KDD Maru for over 50 years. The MOL Group is the only Japanese ocean shipping

company involved in the management and operation of cable-laying ships. Cable-

laying ships adopt “Dynamic Positioning Systems“ to lay submarine cables with safety

and precision, and MOL and MOLMEC have accumulated technology and expertise to

automatically maintain the ship position under various environmental and weather

conditions. Their collective know-how and skilled personnel are expected to be used in

a wide range of various offshore businesses, including the rapidly growing wind power

generation field.

KCS is responsible for cable handling and laying operations, which require advanced

technology, expertise, and knowledge, while MOL and MOLMEC are in charge of ship

management and operation including supplying seafarers who have the advanced

skills to operate the “Dynamic Positioning Systems“ indispensable for cable-laying

ships. As they fulfill these roles, both companies will jointly research commercial

opportunities in new submarine cable-laying demand, mainly for offshore wind farm

facilities, which are gaining wider application in Japan and throughout Asia.