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Nakilat to operate 25 LNG carriers for QatarEnergy
South Korean yards to build 60 vessels under state-owned firm’s LNG fleet expansion programme
Michael Marray 21 Feb 2024

QatarEnergy has selected Qatar Gas Transport Company Limited (Nakilat) to be the owner and operator of 25 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.

The agreement constitutes the first award in the second batch of long-term time charter parties (TCPs) under QatarEnergy’s vast LNG fleet expansion programme.

Nakilat is Qatar’s flagship LNG shipping and maritime company. Minister of state for energy affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the president and chief executive officer of QatarEnergy, says Nakilat won the contract on a purely competitive basis via a global tender.

In 2022, QatarEnergy signed a series of TCPs for the long-term charter and operation of 60 LNG ships, concluding the first phase of its fleet expansion programme, which aims to support and meet future requirements of the state-owned oil and gas company’s North Field East and North Field South expansion projects.

It will also support the shipping requirements of QatarEnergy Trading to serve its global LNG portfolio, including volumes to be produced from the Golden Pass LNG Export Project in Texas. In addition, part of the programme aims to meet the replacement requirements of the existing Qatar LNG fleet.

South Korean shipyards

The 25 vessels, each with a capacity of 174,000 cubic metres, will be owned 100% by Nakilat, and chartered out to affiliates of QatarEnergy. They are scheduled for construction at South Korean shipyards.​

On February 6 Samsung Heavy Industries announced the signing of a construction contract for 15 174,000-cubic-metre LNG carriers. The order, valued at 4.6 trillion won (US$2.5 billion), is the largest single order in the company’s history.

Last September HD Hyundai Heavy Industries signed a 5.3 trillion won deal to build 17 LNG carriers.

QatarEnergy previously signed contracts with Korean and Chinese shipyards for 60 vessels in the first phase of the programme. The company’s Hundred Ships Programme is the largest in the history of the LNG industry. 

Global LNG supplies

Korean shipbuilder Hanwha Ocean signed up to build 19 vessels in the first phase, and analysts suggested that it might also sign a contract for second-phase orders. The shipbuilding unit, formerly known as Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, was acquired by Hanwha Group in 2023.

Last October the foundation stone of the North Field expansion project was laid during a ceremony at Ras Laffan Industrial City. The expansion project will raise Qatar's LNG production capacity from the current 77 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 126 mtpa by 2026.

The project includes six mega trains, each with a production capacity of eight mtpa. Four of the units are part of the North Field East expansion project, and two for North Field South, contributing a total of 48 mtpa to global LNG supplies.

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