QatarEnergy Inks Deal With Chinese Shipbuilder For Giant LNG Carriers

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State-owned LNG giant QatarEnergy has signed a major shipbuilding deal worth $6 billion with China State Shipbuilding Corp to construct 18 271,000-cbm LNG carriers. CSSC’s Hudong-Zhonghua will build the vessels.

Largest Shipbuilding Order 

The contract was signed on Monday in Beijing, according to a statement by CSSC.

CSSC claims this is the world’s largest single shipbuilding order.

Each of the world’s largest LNG vessels will be 344 meters long, 53.6 meters wide, and will have a draft of 12 meters, according to CSSC.

Also, the vessels feature WinGD dual-fuel propulsion, a reliquefaction system, an air lubrication system, and GTT’s NO96 Super+ containment tech. The vessels have five storage tanks.

CSSC did not reveal the price tag of the deal or the delivery dates of the vessels.

In January, LNG Prime was the first to report that QatarEnergy signed a shipbuilding deal with Hudong-Zhonghua to construct eight giant carriers.

Massive Shipbuilding Program 

Last month, this publication reported, citing sources, that QatarEnergy has selected shipowners to own and operate 18 LNG carriers as part of its massive shipbuilding program.

Sources said at the time that the deals are expected to be finalized “soon”.

QatarEnergy has selected compatriot Nakilat to own and operate nine of these vessels, China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) will own four, Shandong Marine will own three, and China LNG Shipping (CLNG), a joint venture of Cosco Shipping and China Merchants will own two of these ships.

Nakilat currently owns 14 Q-Max LNG carriers built by Hanwha Ocean (DSME) and Samsung Heavy between 2008 and 2010, and they all transport LNG from the giant Ras Laffan LNG complex in Qatar to customers around the globe.

Charter Deals 

QatarEnergy also said in a separate statement it has signed long-term time charter party (TCP) agreements with three ship owners for the operation of nine QC-Max vessels.

The long-term TCP agreements cater for the operation of the vessels by affiliates of China Merchants Group, Shandong Marine Group, and China LNG Shipping (Holdings) Limited, it said.

CMES will operate four vessels, Shandong Marine Energy three, and CLNG two, QatarEnegy said.

With this, QatarEnergy confirmed the previously mentioned report by LNG Prime. The remaining deal is with Nakilat for nine vessels.

North Field Expansions

The shipbuilding program aims to support and meet future requirements of QatarEnergy’s North Field East and North Field South expansion projects, as well as the Golden Pass LNG project in the US.

In addition, part of the program is intended to cater to the replacement requirements of the existing Qatar LNG fleet.

The first phase of the North Field expansion project will increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 to 110 Mtpa, while the second phase will further boost capacity to 126 Mtpa.

Besides these projects, QatarEnergy also recently announced the third North Field expansion phase to boost Qatar’s capacity to 142 mtpa.

Two of China’s national energy companies are partners in Qatar’s North Field expansion projects with Sinopec acquiring a 1.25 percent interest in the North Field East project and a 1.875 percent interest in the North Field South project, while at the same time signing 27-year LNG sales and purchase agreements for a total of 7 mtpa.

CNPC in turn, has acquired a 1.25 percent interest in the North Field East project and signed a 27-year LNG sales and purchase agreement for 4 mtpa.

In 2023, Qatari LNG supplies to its main customers in China reached almost 17 million tons, the firm said.

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Source: LNGprime