Korean Shippers Jointly Pitch for Qatari LNG Newbuilds
Five South Korean shipping companies - Korea Line, Pan Ocean, SK Shipping, Hyundai LNG Shipping and H-Line Shipping - could partner up to secure liquefied natural gas transportation services for Qatar’s LNG production capacity expansion project.
Qatar Petroleum is expected to put up shipping contracts for at least 40 LNG carriers by the end of the year for its North Field Expansion project, which aims to increase the nation’s LNG production capacity from 77 million tons to 110 million tons per annum starting in 2024.
According to Yonhap, the Qatari state-run company will need an additional 60 LNG carriers for the project.
While South Korea’s major shipbuilders are considered the favorites to take the LNG carrier construction orders from Qatar due to their dominant presence in the LNG ship market, local shippers are hoping they can secure contracts to operate the vessels, said the report.
On October 13, Sung Yun Mo, Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy met in Qatar Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatari Minister of Energy, to discuss the cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy.
In February 2019, Al-Kaabi, who also acts as the CEO of Qatar Petroleum, confirmed the country’s intention to order up to 60 new LNG carriers by the end of the year.
In line with Qatar’s efforts to reinforce its position as the world’s largest LNG producer, the country plans to build up to 100 LNG carriers over the next decade under its shipbuilding campaign, said the report.
“It’s worth a try,” Yonhap quoted a shipping firm official who asked not to be named saying: “What’s meaningful is that local shippers are trying to join forces to overcome difficulties together.”