QatarEnergy, the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier, is pressing ahead with its North Field expansion project with new shipowners that have been selected for its reserved slots in South Korea as part of a massive LNG carrier shipbuilding program.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) announced orders for four LNG carriers from a Korean consortium consisting of H-Line Shipping, Pan Ocean, and SK Shipping. The 174,000 cu m vessels will be built at the Okpo Shipyard and delivered by the first quarter of 2025. The deal is worth about $850m and DSME, which has won contracts to build 16 LNG carriers so far this year, said additional orders are expected in the future.
In a separate regulatory filing, Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) said its subsidiary Hyundai Heavy Industries would build a pair of 174,000 cu m LNG carriers also earmarked by shipping sources for the Qatari LNG project, with Norwegian shipping firm Knutsen OAS Shipping tipped to be the owner. The contract is worth about $430m and the ships should deliver in the first half of 2025.
In April, Qatar’s state-owned oil and gas firm also signed contracts with Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) for the long-term charter and operation of four LNG carriers that will be built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China and serve the North Field expansion project, which will increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77m tons per year to 126m tons per year, with the first LNG expected in 2025.