The head of Qatar Petroleum (QP) yesterday confirmed speculation that the Middle Eastern nation will push ahead with plans to order up to 60 LNG carriers. Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi, who is also Qatar’s minister of state for energy affairs, said at a press conference that Qatar was in advanced negotiations to order between 50 and 60 gas carriers, a giant order similar in scale to the series of Q-Flexes and Q-Maxes the country ordered in South Korea in the previous decade via QP shipping subsidiary Nakilat.
“It should be between 50 and 60 vessels that we will require to transport the expanded output of LNG which will increase from 77m tonnes per day (m tpa) to 110m tpa by 2024,” Al Kaabi said, adding that a team has been touring yards in Asia to ready the orders.
“We built all our ships in South Korea in the past, so we are looking at South Korean companies and others to bid and meet our shipbuilding requirements in the future,” Al Kaabi said.
Such a giant order will likely lead to owners of other ship types being shut out from early delivery slots at Korea’s top yards, brokers Gibson noted in a recent report.