RasGas Company Limited (RasGas), the Qatar based premium LNG exporter, continues to grow its fleet to meet global demand. RasGas, Teekay (TK)
Nakilat and J5 name seven Q-Flex LNG carriers that will enter long-term RasGas charters in ceremonies at both the Samsung Heavy Industries (010140.KS)
(SHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyards in South Korea. These ships bring the RasGas LNG fleet to a total 20 ships ranging from 138,000 cu.m through to 217,000 cu.m.
On the February 20, in the first of two naming ceremonies, the first four Q-Flex ships with a cargo carrying capacity of 217,000 m3, approximately 50 per cent larger than conventional ships and the largest ships currently chartered by RasGas were formally named by VIP sponsors. Built by SHI at the Goje Island shipyard, the ships are owned by Teekay Nakilat (III Corporation) and will deliver LNG in the main to the Far East and US markets.
At the ceremony the vessels were named by representatives from RasGas, ExxonMobil, and Distrigas, one of RasGas' European customers. Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi, RasGas Managing Director (CEO) was the proud sponsor of the 'Al Kharsaah'. Whilst the 'Al Huwaila' and 'Al Shamal' were named by Mrs. Sherry Swiger, wife of Mr. Andrew Swiger, President ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing Company and Mrs. Ruth Billings, wife of Mr. Ron Billings, Vice President Global LNG, ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing Company respectively. The final ship in the quartet, 'Al Khuwair' was sponsored by Mrs. Magda Naudts wife of Mr. Erwin Van Bruysel CEO Distrigas.
The vessels will enter service between April and June 2008 and under the terms of the Time Charter Agreement, RasGas will charter each vessel for a period of between 20 to 25 years to deliver LNG from existing and future facilities at Ras Laffan Industrial port to a growing global customer base.
A second ceremony will be held on February 22nd at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co Ltd shipyard to formally name the remaining three ships.