Qatar Launches Massive LNG Shipbuilding Program That Could Exceed 100 Ships

qatar lng ship
FILE PHOTO: A man looks as the world’s biggest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tanker DUHAIL as she crosses through the Suez Canal April 1, 2008. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

Qatar, the world’s second largest exporter of liquified natural gas, has taken its first firm steps in a massive LNG shipbuilding program that could exceed 100 newbuild LNG carriers over the next decade.

Qatar Petroleum on Tuesday issued an ‘invitation to tender’ to shipbuilders for the reservation of LNG ship construction capacity. The initial plan calls for the construction of 60 LNG carriers with the potential to exceed more than 100 ships over the next decade, according to Qatar Petroleum. Qatargas will execute shipbuilding program on behalf of Qatar Petroleum.

The newbuild program will support the shipping needs of Qatar’s North Field Expansion (NFE) Project and increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 million tons per year (mta) to 110 mta from in 2024.

The tender also covers shipping requirements for the LNG purchased and shipped from the Golden Pass LNG export project in the United States, which is currently under construction and is planned to start by 2024. The project is a 70/30 joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil.

The tender also includes options for replacement requirements for Qatar’s existing LNG fleet.

Qatargas currently operates a fleet of 45 Q-Flex and Q-Max ships, the world’s largest LNG carriers, which constitute the backbone of Qatar’s current LNG carrier fleet.?

“With this significant step, Qatar Petroleum embarks on another major LNG ship-building campaign expected to initially deliver 60 LNG carriers in support of the planned production expansion, with a potential to exceed 100 new LNG carriers over the next decade,” said His Excellency Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum. “This important initiative reinforces Qatar Petroleum’s commitment to its global reputation as a safe and reliable LNG producer at all times and under all circumstances.”