MITSUI O.S.K. Lines said it would merge MOL Marine and MOL Engineering, both wholly owned subsidiaries. The merger is to come into effect on 1 April.

MOL Marine’s core expertise has been consultancy related to port facilities and marine traffic and seafarer training. It also manages cable-laying vessels. And, MOL Engineering specialises in inspection and maintenance of marine equipment.

In a statement, MOL said in the background to the merger was the fact that COVID-19 had impacted consumer behaviour around the world.

“Shipping faces higher expectations for contributions to a more efficient value chain, while continuing its momentum of decarbonization to mitigate the environmental load,” the company said.

“The MOL Group considers these expectations as an opportunity to align an organisation that can tackle the current and future demands by providing tangible and intangible seamless services, through the merging of the two companies.”

The company said the merger would positively affect its offshore business and the development of autonomous shipping.

“The dynamic positioning system that enables precise positioning of vessels under various marine conditions which MOL Marine has developed through submarine cable-laying, and the extensive engineering experience of MOL Engineering will be MOL Groups unique competency that will contribute to areas such as floating LNG power generation and offshore wind power generation,” the company said in its statement. “The offshore technology will be concentrated in close cooperation with MOL and will evolve the merging companies to a further advantage both in safety and technology.”