Hudong-Zhonghua floats out MOL’s LNG carrier

Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua has launched one 174,000-cbm LNG carrier that Japan’s MOL ordered as part of the giant QatarEnergy shipbuilding program.

Hudong-Zhonghua said in a statement it has held the launching ceremony on December 24 for the LNG carrier with a working name H1791A.

Besides this LNG carrier, Hudong-Zhonghua launched the 15,500-teu containership, One Future, completing the yard’s annual dock construction tasks, it said.

Hudong-Zhonghua delivered record six LNG carriers this year.

In the statement, the shipbuilder did not provide any additional information regarding the newly launched LNG carrier.

Hudong-Zhonghua started work on this vessel in January this year, saying that the LNG carrier is the second of four vessels MOL ordered for charter to QatarEnergy last year.

In April last year, state-run QatarEnergy signed charter deals for these four LNG carriers with MOL, completing the first batch of charter contracts awarded under its massive shipbuilding program.

The vessels, part of Hudong-Zhonghua’s fifth-generation Changxeng series, will be 299 meters long and 46.4 meters wide.

Also, the LNG carriers will feature a reliquefaction system as well.

Hudong-Zhonghua floats out MOL’s LNG carrier
Image: Hudong-Zhonghua

QatarEnergy program

Following the order for the first batch of four vessels, MOL also signed a long-term charter contract in November last year for three newbuilding LNG carriers with QatarEnergy, boosting the total to seven LNG carriers that will be built at Hudong-Zhonghua under the shipbuilding program.

Under the Qatari program, Hudong-Zhonghua also booked orders for five LNG carriers with a consortium of Japan’s NYK, K Line, Malaysia’s MISC, and China LNG Shipping.

Including orders at South Korea’s three shipbuilders Hanwha Ocean, Hyundai Heavy, and Samsung Heavy, QatarEnergy concluded construction contracts and long-term time charter agreements for 60 LNG carriers last year.

This year, QatarEnergy signed a deal for 17 LNG carriers with South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries as it continues to hold talks with other yards over the second phase of its giant shipbuilding program.

The firm was expected to award more contracts by the end of this year, including for Q-Max type vessels, but it seems that the talks took longer than expected and these contracts would be awarded in 2024.

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