QatarEnergy hands out first batch of LNG ship-owner contracts

State-owned oil and gas company QatarEnergy has signed a series of time-charter parties (TCPs) with a subsidiary of Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) for the long-term charter and operation of four LNG ships.

Courtesy of QatarEnergy

According to QatarEnergy, this is the first batch of TCPs awarded under the company’s massive LNG shipping program.

At the same time, back-to-back LNG carrier shipbuilding contracts were signed between MOL and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), for the construction of four new LNG carriers.

The newbuilds will serve QatarEnergy’s LNG growth projects and future fleet requirements.

“These contracts mark the start of the construction phase of QatarEnergy’s historic fleet expansion program in support of our LNG expansion projects. We are pleased to be working with our reliable business partners from China and Japan, namely: MOL, Hudong, and CSSC to take this important step together”, said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and the president and CEO of QatarEnergy.

“We look forward to announcing many more such contracts in the near future in our relentless pursuit to ensure a reliable supply of additional clean energy to the world.”

QatarEnergy noted that the signing of the first LNG ship-owner contract marks the conclusion of the ship-owner invitation to tender that was launched in March 2021.

Other ship-owners that have been selected by QatarEnergy as part of such process will be announced in due course, the company informed.

Back in 2020, the Qatari company entered into an agreement with Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding to reserve LNG ship construction capacity in China for its future LNG carrier fleet requirements, including for the North Field expansion projects.

Now, the newly-signed contracts represent the beginning of the design and construction of the first four new LNG carriers from the Chinese shipbuilder announced in October 2021.

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