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Fears over LNG crew capability as fleet mushrooms

Fears over LNG crew capability as fleet mushrooms

Doha: With a rapidly rising fleet and 133 new LNG carriers on order mostly at Asian shipyards, well-trained LNG crews are already in short supply and demand for experienced personnel has reached levels never previously seen in this sector, according to New York broker Poten & Partners. The firm highlights the recent agreement between Qatar Gas Transport Company (QGTC) and Shell International Trading and Shipping under which Stasco will manage QGTC's 27 fully-owned Q-class ships ranging in size from 209,000 m³ to 266,000 m³. Under the 25-year deal, operational management of the vessels will transfer from Stasco to the Qataris after 12 years.

Poten points to other initiatives in Asia which suggest that concern over LNG crew capabilities is growing. One example is Japanese owner NYK and South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries' announcement that they plan to build an LNG training vessel capable of providing training for 20 junior personnel at a time. Similarly, says Poten, a yard in China is building training facilities on one of its newbuildings, to be used for local cadets. Meanwhile, the New York broker also reports that Russia's Sovcomflot has acquired two vessels from BG which it plans to use to train LNG crews in preparation for operating gas tonnage dedicated to the Sakhalin II project.  [21/02/07]

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