QatarEnergy, Nakilat seal charter deals for 25 LNG carriers

State-run LNG giant QatarEnergy said it had signed time charter agreements with compatriot shipping firm Nakilat for 25 conventional-size LNG carriers as part of the second phase of its massive shipbuilding program.

Each of the 25 vessels will have a capacity of 174,000 cubic meters and will be chartered out by Nakilat to affiliates of QatarEnergy pursuant to the 15-year TCP agreements, QatarEnergy said on Sunday.

According to the firm, seventeen of the 25 LNG vessels are being constructed at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) shipyards in South Korea, while the remaining eight are being constructed at Hanwha Ocean, formerly Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, also in South Korea.

These agreements firm up last month’s selection of Nakilat as the owner and operator of up to 25 conventional-size LNG carriers.

Last year, QatarEnergy signed a deal for 17 LNG carriers worth about $3.9 billion with HD Hyundai Heavy, kicking off the second phase of the shipbuilding program.

Hanwha Ocean recently signed a memorandum for 12 LNG carriers tied to QatarEnergy’s shipbuilding program.

Besides these orders Samsung Heavy also secured a large order to build 15 LNG carriers for about $3.45 billion and this order is also tied to the program.

The vessels are each worth around $230 million.

In addition to these 174,000-cbm carriers, LNG Prime previously reported that QatarEnergy signed a deal with China’s Hudong-Zhonghua for 8 271,000-cbm vessels.

QatarEnergy is also said to be looking to order 10 more Q-Max LNG carriers in China.

Huge expansion projects

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 program.

These vessels will be built at South Korea’s three shipbuilders HHI, SHI, and Hanwha Ocean, and China’s Hudong-Zhonghua.

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 for 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, the company also recently announced the third North Field expansion phase to boost Qatar’s capacity to 142 mtpa.

Nakilat is the world’s largest LNG shipping firm in terms of capacity and its vessels transport LNG from QatarEnergy’s giant Ras Laffan LNG complex to clients around the globe.

The company’s fleet currently includes 24 conventional LNG carriers, 31 Q-Flex vessels (210,000-217,000 cbm), 14 Q-Max vessels (263,000-266,000 cbm), and also one FSRU.

Nakilat recently ordered two more LNG carriers as well.

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