Nakilat and vessel charterer Qatargas Operating Company Ltd. (“Qatargas”) proudly announce the naming of the final four Q-Max LNG carriers. The new ships are the world’s largest LNG vessels, and were officially named at a special ceremony and celebration held at Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. shipyard on Geoje Island, Korea.
The first ship “Shagra” was named by Mrs. Maryam Al-Suwaidi with the second vessel, “Zarga” named by Mrs. Roda Al-Suwaidi, the spouse and daughter respectively of Mr. Faisal Al-Suwaidi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Qatargas. The third ship “Aamira” was named by Mrs. Daniela Voser, spouse of Mr. Peter Voser, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell while the fourth vessel “Rasheeda” was named by Mrs. Carola Brinded, spouse of Mr. Malcolm Brinded, Shell’s Executive Director, Upstream International. All four ships are Q-Max series (266,000 CBM) LNG carriers.
The ceremony honored and thanked His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar and His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Heir Apparent, for their wisdom, leadership, and generous support for the many and ongoing economic, social and infrastructure projects within the nation of Qatar. These initiatives have and continue to lead to unprecedented levels of prosperity and developmental opportunities for the people of Qatar, to those within our region, and indeed to the peoples of the world.
The ceremony also provided the opportunity to convey a special thanks to H.E. Abdulla Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Deputy Premier, Minister of Energy & Industry & Chairman of Nakilat who has provided an outstanding level of clarity, vision and direction as the leader of Qatar’s energy program. Mr. Faisal Al-Suwaidi was commended for his many contributions as Qatar’s “Master Architect” whose skillful leadership, focus and dedication have translated the nation’s energy vision into reality.
Qatar Petroleum and Shell are shareholders in Qatargas 4. Shell was also appointed by Nakilat to assist them in managing their fleet and recruiting and training the finest seafarers for their 25 wholly-owned newbuild LNG carriers under a Master Services Agreement, effective from November 2006.
Also recognized were the other world leading industry partners and shareholders who participated in Qatar’s shipbuilding program and the tens of thousands of individuals and companies from around the globe who have contributed to the project’s success.
Mr. Faisal Al-Suwaidi said; “We are very proud of the accomplishments which Nakilat has achieved in a very short time and we thank everyone involved in Qatar’s LNG shipbuilding program for their outstanding efforts in delivering our fleet of ships safely and on schedule.
Qatar has already become the world’s largest producer of LNG, and by 2011 will increase its exports to 77mta. Nakilat has become Qatar’s “floating pipeline” to the world markets and will play the leading role in transporting Qatar’s natural gas which will represent over 30 percent of the world’s total LNG production.”
Mr. Muhammad Ghannam, Nakilat Managing Director, said; “Nakilat has achieved many important milestones since our ship building program started just a few short years ago, and today is a very special milestone indeed with our last four Q-Max LNG carriers being named at this final ceremony. Our massive LNG fleet comprising 54 ships is now complete. During the next year all of our 25 wholly-owned new LNG ships, 14 Q-Max and 11 Q-Flex, will be fully operational.
These twenty-five vessels, along with our 29 jointly-owned ships, built by the Korean shipyards, form the largest LNG fleet in the world. Thirty-two of these LNG carriers will be dedicated to Qatargas.”
The Q-Flex and the even larger Q-Max are a new generation of LNG mega-ships. They are the largest and most advanced LNG carriers in the world.
The ships are a new design and have set new standards for the LNG industry. The Q-Max is 80% larger in capacity than conventional LNG carriers while the Q-Flex is 50% larger.
The Q-Max and Q-Flex ships are unique, purpose built for Nakilat and are a step forward in reducing the cost of transporting LNG while improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions. The vessels consume about 40% less energy and emissions per cargo-ton mile compared to conventional ships.
The ships also include a number of firsts and significant enhancements that improve operational safety, and provide both the owner and the charterer with significant benefits. These include onboard reliquefaction units, slow-speed diesel engines, twin propellers, larger membrane cargo tanks and improved fire-protection systems.
Overall, the ships can deliver LNG for about 20-30% less cost than conventional carriers. This means that Nakilat can deliver LNG to more distant markets throughout the world and remain competitive with other sources of energy. This underscores Nakilat’s strong commitment to an ultra modern, high quality LNG fleet, built and operated to the highest safety and quality standards.