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MOL orders four LNG carriers for Qatar Energy at Hudong-Zhonghua

Photo: Qatar Petroleum Qatar Petroleum LNG carrier.png
The first orders in Qatar Energy’s massive LNG newbuildings have finally firmed up with newbuilding and charter deal with Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL).

CSSC Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and MOL have entered into the shipbuilding contract for the construction of four new LNG carriers serve for Qatar Energys LNG growth projects and future fleet requirements. 

Qatar Energy and MOL have also signed agreement for the long-term charter and operation of the four vessels. 

The deal is the commencement of design and construction of the first four new LNG carriers from Hudong-Zhonghua for Qatar Energy announced in October 2021.

President and CEO of Qatar Energy, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said, These contracts mark the start of the construction phase of Qatar Energys historic fleet expansion programme in support of our LNG expansion projects.

Qatar Energy will announce more such contracts in the near future to ensure a reliable supply of additional clean energy to the world, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi added. 

Qatar has plans to build more than 100 LNG carriers for fleet expansion and replacement, and while yard capacity has been reserved for some of the programme firm orders are yet to transpire. Analysts refer to it as a “ghost orderbook” that is fully expected to happen, but exactly when and the resulting shipbuilding capacity is taken up remains unknown. Qatar Energy has inked agreements securing about 60% of global LNG shipbuilding capacity through to 2027.

Qatar Energy had earlier entered into an agreement in April 2020 with Hudong-Zhonghua to reserve LNG ship construction capacity in China for Qatar Energys future LNG carrier fleet requirements.

In June last year it inked agreements with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) reserving what was described as a “major portion” of the three yard’s LNG shipbuilding capacity. The lion’s share of the orders is expected to go to Korean yards.