Fully-owned by Maersk until recently, the LNG carriers MILAHA RAS LAFFAN and MILAHA QATAR, recently carried out their first loading operations this month under their new names, new managers, and a new color.
The MILAHA RAS LAFFAN loaded at Ras Laffan on July 8th, 2012, while the MILAHA QATAR loaded at the same port on July 11th, 2012.
At ceremonies held for each of the vessels, a commemorative plaque was presented by the owners to the Master of each vessel. The ceremonies were attended by representatives of the vessels’ owners, Societe Generale and Qatar Shipping Company, technical managers Pronav Ship Management, as well as representatives from the Ras Laffan port, Ras Laffan Industrial City, and the charterers RasGas.
Both vessels are on long term time-charter to RasGas and load LNG at Ras Laffan for worldwide destinations.
Qatar Shipping Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Milaha, had recently purchased additional stakes in these two LNG carriers from Maersk, bringing its ownership to 40 percent in each of the vessels. As part of the transaction, the carriers were renamed MILAHA RAS LAFFAN and MILAHA QATAR from MAERSK RAS LAFFAN and MAERSK QATAR respectively.
“The increased stake in both vessels will significantly benefit Milaha over the long run,” said chairman and managing director Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al-Thani. “We are embarking on an ambitious expansion plan in our core shipping sector, and this is one step in that direction.”
Following the merger of Qatar Navigation and Qatar Shipping in 2010, the group redefined the long term strategy for its core sectors and is in the midst of a comprehensive re-organization to prepare the foundation to achieve its goals.
“As a Qatar-based company, one of our key goals is to help our gas and petroleum products exporters grow and maximize their returns by providing critical transport and logistics solutions,” continued Sheikh Ali. “For us to achieve this goal, it is important that we not only invest in the right assets but also in our people.”