Middle Eastern liquefied natural gas producer QatarEnergy has kicked off the second phase of its massive shipbuilding program by signing a contract with South Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of 17 LNG carriers.
The deal, valued at $3.9bn, will see the newbuilds support its expanding LNG production capacity from the North Field LNG expansion and Golden Pass LNG export projects, as well as its long-term fleet replacement requirements.
QatarEnergy changed its name from Qatar Petroleum in 2021, signalling a new strategy focused on energy efficiency and environmentally friendly technologies. The company booked a huge number of yard slots in South Korea and China in 2020 to facilitate its future LNG exports.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister and CEO of QatarEnergy, said: “This is another milestone in our long-term relationship with HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and the Korean shipbuilding industry in general, which is built on the strong and strategic partnership between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Korea.”
Al-Kaabi added that the ships will be built to the highest technical and environmental standards and specifications and that they are designed to achieve optimal fuel efficiency and significant reduction in carbon emissions.
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QatarEnergy’s historic LNG shipbuilding program is the largest of its kind in the history of the LNG industry. Together with the 60 ships that were contracted for by QatarEnergy in the first phase of the program, which will be built at Korean and Chinese shipyards, the new deal brings the total number of confirmed LNG carrier newbuilds to be delivered to QatarEnergy and its affiliates to 77 and the company said there will be more to follow.