QatarEnergy: Steel cut for first Korean LNG carrier as part of fleet expansion

State-owned LNG giant QatarEnergy has celebrated the steel cutting of the first of its new generation of chartered LNG carriers to be built at a South Korean shipyard as part of its LNG fleet expansion project.

Illustration only; Archive. Courtesy of QatarEnergy

On 3 June, QatarEnergy said it joined the shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries and JP Morgan Asset Management in the steel-cutting ceremony on Geoje Island, celebrating this milestone.

According to the company, the event signifies an extension of QatarEnergy’s international collaborations and commitment to global partnerships. It follows the October 2022 steel cutting of the company’s LNG carriers being built at the Chinese shipyard Hudong-Zhonghua, which kicked off construction of the second vessel at the beginning of this year.

The construction of the LNG carrier in South Korea is part of QatarEnergy’s decision from 2020 to reserve LNG construction capacity at the country’s biggest three shipbuilders: Samsung Heavy Industries, Hyundai Heavy Industries, and Hanwha Ocean, known as Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering at the time.

Worth about $19.2 billion, the agreement has been described as the largest shipbuilding deal in the history of the LNG industry.

On the back of this deal, in 2022, QatarEnergy signed multiple time charter parties with various shipowners, including affiliates of JP Morgan Asset Management, a fund investing in a wide array of transportation assets.

Simultaneously with executing this massive LNG fleet expansion project, Qatati company is working on its North Field expansion project which will see the increase of LNG production from the North Field by 48 million tons per annum (mtpa), bringing Qatar’s export capacity to 126 mtpa by 2028.