Qatar orders six new vessels for LNG expansion

  • : Natural gas
  • 21/11/07

Qatar has placed an order for six new LNG carriers with South Korean shipyards, the latest of several planned batches in a massive shipbuilding program aimed at growing its fleet to handle its upcoming LNG expansion.

State-owned Qatar Energy, formerly Qatar Petroleum, placed an order for four vessels with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and two from Samsung Heavy Industries, the company said today.

The two shipyards have built a total of 23 Q-Flex and 14 Q-Max LNG vessels for Qatar for its previous LNG expansion projects. Qatar Energy subsidiary Qatargas currently operates a fleet of 45 Q-Flex and Q-Max LNG carriers.

Qatar in April last year reserved LNG carrier construction capacity at three South Korean shipyards as well as China's Hudong Zhonghua shipyard through to the end of 2027 to build as many as 100 new LNG carriers in a programme worth more than $19.2bn.

"These orders, and those that will follow in the near future, constitute a significant part of our program to expand Qatar's LNG fleet to meet the requirements of our LNG expansion projects, our existing fleet replacement, as well as our LNG trading arm," Qatar Energy chief executive and minister of state for energy, Saad al-Kaabi said.

The announcement follows a $770mn order for four new LNG carriers with Hudong Zhonghua in October. It was the first deal with a Chinese shipyard for LNG vessels as part of the April 2020 agreement.

The first $28.75bn phase of investment in new production trains to boost capacity to 110mn t/yr before the end of 2025 was sanctioned in February. A second phase of the expansion will take Qatar's capacity to 126mn t/yr by the end of 2027.

In addition to this are international LNG projects, such as Golden Pass in the US in which Qatar Energy holds a 70pc stake. Capacity at the export facility in Texas is set to increase by 2.5mn t/yr to 18.1mn t/yr in 2026.

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