BY: Adis Ajdin
DOHA (Splash 247): Qatar’s historic LNG shipbuilding program is the largest of its kind in the history of this sector. The first phase saw several selected owners contract 60 ships at Korean and Chinese shipyards, backed by long-term charters with QatarEnergy.
The second phase kicked off in September last year in a deal worth nearly $4bn with South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries for 17 LNG carriers and continued with Samsung Heavy Industries most recently securing a $3.45bn order for 15 ships.
The deal with Nakilat, which currently has 69 LNG carriers on the water, is QatarEnergy’s first award in the second batch of long-term charters, and the company said there will be more to follow.
Another Korean yard, Hanwha Ocean, is next in line to firm up its deal with QatarEnergy for 174,000 cu m newbuilds, all of which will serve the country’s LNG expansion projects and fleet renewal requirements. The state-run LNG producer also recently signed a deal with China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding for eight Q-Max vessels with a capacity of 271,000 cu m—the largest-ever units ordered in this sector.