Nakilat: Growing in line with Qatari gas exports

Nakilat: Growing in line with Qatari gas exports

Established in 2004, Nakilat is a public listed Qatari-owned shipping and maritime company providing the critical transportation link in the state of Qatar’s LNG and LPG supply chains.

Nakilat’s LNG and LPG vessels are trading worldwide, either directly managed in-house through subsidiary Nakilat Shipping Qatar or in cooperation with Shell International Trading and Shipping Company (STASCO), or by joint venture partners such as MOL, NYK, K Line, Maran Gas, Teekay, Pronav and Shipping Corp of India.

Nakilat has a total of 69 vessels in its fleet, which is made up of 65 LNG and four very large LPG carriers. Out of the 65 LNG carriers, 25 of them are wholly-owned by Nakilat while the remaining 40 vessels are jointly-owned.

Nakilat also operates the ship repair and construction facilities at Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard in Ras Laffan Industrial City via two strategic joint ventures: Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) and Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar (NDSQ). It also provides shipping agency services through Nakilat Agency Company (NAC) at all Qatari ports and terminals, as well as towage and other marine support services through its joint venture Nakilat SvitzerWijsmuller (NSW) for vessels at the Port of Ras Laffan and around Qatar’s Halul Island.

“We are actively looking at other opportunities to further increase our fleet in the near term and long term,” says the company’s CEO, Abdullah Fadhalah Al-Sulaiti. “Strategic alliances with renowned partners have been fundamental to our success, and we are always looking for opportunities to grow our international presence with first-class companies.”

Nakilat is currently pursuing additional joint venture opportunities with other companies.

Al-Sulaiti admits the immediate market prospects for the LNG shipping sector does not look great.

“There is lot of new shipping capacity scheduled for delivery in 2018 which we expect will soften the market in the short term so we don’t we don’t expect significant rebalancing in 2018,” Al-Sulaiti says. Nevertheless, he has spotted shipowners placing orders for 2021 delivery which he believes indicates that the expectation is for an undersupplied market from 2020 onwards.

“While in the last couple of years LNG producers were rather relaxed when it came to securing shipping capacity, we expect that the forthcoming shortening of the market will push for longer term commitments stabilising the market with healthy rates,” Al-Sulaiti says optimistically.

The supply of LNG from Qatar is expected to increase by close to 30% over the next decade and Nakilat plans to provide solutions to meet the associated demand for vessels, Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs) and maritime services.

As part of the company’s diversification strategy, Nakilat established a strategic alliance with Hoegh LNG to explore collaboration opportunities in the FSRU market.

“Qatar’s plans to increase LNG exports to 100m tonnes per annum will provide an excellent, large-scale opportunity for growth in Nakilat’s fleet size,” Al-Sulaiti concludes.

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