Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua has started building one 174,000-cbm LNG carrier that Japan’s MOL ordered as part of the giant QatarEnergy shipbuilding program.
To mark the start of construction, Hudong-Zhonghua held a steel-cutting ceremony on January 16 for the LNG carrier with a working name H1791A.
Officials from MOL, Cosco Shipping LNG Investment, and others attended the ceremony, Hudong-Zhonghua said in a statement.
According to the shipbuilder, this is the second out of four LNG carriers 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-Znoghua’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.
Following the order for the first batch of four vessels, MOL signed a long-term charter contract in November 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 DSME, Hyundai Heavy, and Samsung Heavy, QatarEnergy concluded construction contracts and long-term time charter agreements for 60 LNG carriers last year.
QatarEnergy expects the number to grow to more than 100 LNG carriers in the future, it previously said.
The firm is expected to start awarding new contracts later this year.