QatarEnergy linked to $2.4 billion deal for 8 Q-Max LNG carriers, set to be world’s largest
Qatar’s LNG heavyweight QatarEnergy has sealed a contract with Chinese shipbuilder CSSC Hudong Zhonghua shipbuilding for the construction of eight Q-Max ultra-large LNG carriers, according to broker reports.
Valued at over $2.4 billion, these cutting-edge vessels, part of QatarEnergy’s “Hundred Ships Program,” are set to be delivered between 2028 and 2029.
The deal, reportedly finalized last month, follows QatarEnergy’s September 2023 announcement of plans to order 15 Q-Max ultra-large LNG carriers from Chinese and South Korean shipyards. Of these, eight will be constructed by Hudong Zhonghua, with negotiations ongoing for the remaining seven vessels.
Unconfirmed media reports indicate that QatarEnergy will be paying over $300 million per ship.
The vessels will feature a new design, boasting a 271,000 cbm carrying capacity, making them the world’s largest.
Hudong-Zhonghua (HZ) Shipyard won several approvals for the ground-breaking design back in September last year from major classification societies including ABS, LR, BV, and DNV.
The design integrates a dual-fuel propulsion system, air lubrication, and optimized hull structure, all aimed at reducing the vessel’s overall carbon footprint.
The design incorporates selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology, aimed at curbing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and ensuring compliance with IMO Tier III controls, even in diesel mode. The redesigned LNG tank is characterized by advanced cargo containment mechanisms, including a real-time sloshing monitoring system.
The design includes a hull stress monitoring system and an anti-collision system, setting it apart from traditional LNG carriers.
The construction contract is yet to be confirmed by QatarEnergy.
In 2020, Hudong Zhonghua agreed with QatarEnergy to reserve construction capacity for the company’s planned LNG carrier fleet. The initial ships were ordered two years later.
The latest deal solidifies Hudong Zhonghua’s position in QatarEnergy’s shipbuilding program, bringing the company’s total LNG carrier construction tally at the yard to 20 vessels.
QatarEnergy’s LNG shipbuilding program has been described as the largest of its kind in the history of the LNG industry.
In the first phase of the program, a total of 60 ships were ordered at Korean and Chinese shipyards.
In September 2023, Qatar’s state-owned oil and gas company placed an order for the construction of 17 LNG carriers with South Korean shipyard HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), marking the beginning of the second stage of its massive shipbuilding program.
This deal is the largest ever for South Korea’s shipbuilding industry. It will provide HD Hyundai Heavy Industries with approximately six years of work as the delivery of the ships has been set for 2029.
The order brought the total number of confirmed new LNG vessels ordered by the company and its affiliated to 77, with more set to follow.
South Korea’s Hanwha Ocean and Samsung Heavy Industries are currently engaged in negotiations with Qatari counterparts for the construction of approximately 30 additional vessels.
The recent ordering aligns with QatarEnergy’s plans to increase LNG production capacity from 77 million tons to 126 million tons per year after 2027.