South Korean shipyards are expected to top the list for Qatar Petroleum’s tender to reserve ship construction capacity to build potentially more than 100 LNG carriers over the next decade. The new ships will support Qatar’s planned 42% increase in LNG production.
State-run LNG company Qatargas will execute the LNG shipbuilding programme on behalf of Qatar Petroleum. Qatargas managed the construction of 45 Q-Flex and Q-Max ships, the world’s largest LNG vessels by carrying capacity. Three South Korean shipbuilders – Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering – built the Q-Flex and Q-Max ships, which are under charter to Qatargas to transport LNG to global markets.
Besides supporting Qatar’s North Field Expansion project, which will increase the country’s LNG production capacity from 77 mta to 110 mta by 2024, the tender covers shipping requirements for the LNG volumes that will be purchased and off-taken by Ocean LNG.
Ocean LNG is a joint venture owned 70% by Qatar Petroleum and 30% by ExxonMobil in the Golden Pass LNG export project in Sabine, Texas. Golden Pass is currently under construction and is planned to start by 2024. The tender also includes options for replacing Qatar’s existing LNG fleet.
“With this significant step, Qatar Petroleum embarks on another major LNG shipbuilding campaign expected to initially deliver 60 LNG carriers in support of the planned production expansion, with a potential to exceed 100 new LNG carriers over the next decade,” said Qatar Minister of Energy Affairs and Qatar Petroleum president and chief executive Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.
Mr Al-Kaabi added, “This tender, along with the recently released engineering, procurement and construction tender for four new mega-LNG trains planned as part of the North Field Expansion project, constitute two monumental and historical milestones as we make major strides in our commitment towards the further development of the world’s largest non-associated gas field.”
South Korean shipyards hold contracts to build 107 LNG carriers, China 24 vessels, Japan 15 vessels and Singapore one, according to UK-based BRL Shipping Consultants.