Qatar Orders World’s Largest LNG Ships

Thursday, May 25, 2006
Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) signed a contract with two South Korean shipbuilders to construct the world's largest liquified natural gas (LNG) carriers at a cost of $2.5bn, according to a report from The Peninsula/Agencies.

Nakilat said in a statement that it has ordered three "QMax" LNG carriers with a capacity of 265,000 cubic metres (9.3 million cubic feet) each from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine, and another three from Samsung Heavy Industries. The carriers will be the largest in the world in terms of capacity, the statement said.

The carriers will be leased to Qatar Liquefied Gas Company, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and energy giant ExxonMobil, to transport LNG from one of their largest projects at the North Field, estimated to contain nearly 10 per cent of the world's proven gas reserves.

Nakilat is reportedly expected to acquire a total of 61 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels worth a$16bn up until 2010.

Qatargas-2, (QG2) and Nakilat, according to the report, signed a 25-year time-charter for six "QMax" LNG carriers of approximately 265,000 cubic metres carrying capacity each. In addition to the 100 percent owned six ships, Nakilat has 30 to 60 percent equity interest in another 28 LNG carriers that have either been delivered or on order to service Qatar's LNG projects, including the earlier QG-2 vessels.

QG 2 intends to use the vessels, along with the 8 "QFlex" LNG carriers (approximately 215,000 cubic meters capacity each) contracted for over a year ago, to transport LNG from its trains 4 and 5, each with a production capacity of 7.8 million tons per year. Qatar is set to be the world's biggest exporter of LNG by 2010 with an annual output of 30 million tonnes and is pushing to take production to 45 million tons a year.

(Source: The Peninsula/Agencies)

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