QatarEnergy’s Latest Contracts Boost LNG Fleet

The new vessels bring QatarEnergy’s fleet to 104 as the company ramps up production with its North Field expansion.

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The agreements were signed in a special ceremony held at QatarEnergy’s headquarters in Doha, and attended by senior executives from QatarEnergy, QatarEnergy LNG, and the four shipowner companies.
Source: QatarEnergy

QatarEnergy has finalized long-term TCP (time charter party) agreements with Asian ship owners to add 19 vessels to its LNG carrier fleet as it continues to strengthen its logistics capability ahead of a near doubling of LNG output from the North Field expansion.

South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries will build 15 of the vessels which QatarEnergy will charter under contract from CMES LNG Carrier Investment (6 vessels), Shandong Marine Energy (6), and MISC Berhad (3), the company reported after a 31 March signing ceremony in Doha.

Hanwha Ocean Shipbuilders, also South Korean, will build the remaining four vessels which a joint venture of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Hyundai Glovis will operate.

The 19 new LNG vessels will each have a capacity of 174,000 m3.

To date, QatarEnergy has signed TCP agreements for 104 LNG vessels, of which 43 will be chartered by its affiliate QatarEnergy Trading, the company said.

Contracts Close Conventional-Size Vessels Program

Saad Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State Energy Affairs and QatarEnergy CEO, calls the latest signing “a significant milestone in QatarEnergy’s LNG fleet expansion program” which marks “the conclusion of the conventional sizes vessels portion of the program.”

The company’s North Field expansion aims to cement Qatar’s position as the world’s No. 1 LNG exporter as its eight LNG trains boost the country’s liquefaction capacity from 77 mtpa to 142 by 2030, an 85% increase in production.

Calling the project “the largest shipbuilding and leasing program ever in the history of the industry” Al-Kaabi said the new fleet will “support not only Qatar’s North Field but also Golden Pass in the US” in which QatarEnergy holds a 70% stake and offtake capacity.

The latest TCP agreements now end speculation that began when Samsung Heavy Industries made a regulatory filing on 6 February in which it reported having received the largest contract ever in the company’s history—a $3.35-billion award to deliver 15 LNG vessels to an unknown Middle East shipper by October 2028.

South Korean business media had at the time speculated that the unknown shipper was most likely QatarEnergy.

In October 2023, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries clinched its own record breaker, a $3.8-billion contract to build 17 LNG carriers for QatarEnergy.