QatarEnergy signed a series of time-charter parties (TCP’s) with a subsidiary of Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) for the long-term charter and operation of 4 LNG ships, constituting the first batch of TCPs awarded under QatarEnergy’s massive LNG shipping program.
Concurrent with the signing of the TCPs, back-to-back LNG carrier shipbuilding contracts were signed between MOL and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group (Hudong), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), for the construction of four new LNG carriers to serve QatarEnergy’s LNG growth projects and future fleet requirements.
Commenting on the occasion, His Excellency Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, said: “These contracts mark the start of the construction phase of QatarEnergy’s historic fleet expansion program in support of our LNG expansion projects. We are pleased to be working with our reliable business partners from China and Japan, namely: MOL, Hudong, and CSSC to take this important step together.”
“We look forward to announcing many more such contracts in the near future in our relentless pursuit to ensure a reliable supply of additional clean energy to the world,” Minister Al-Kaabi concluded.
The signing of the first LNG ship-owner contract marks the successful conclusion of the ship-owner invitation to tender that was launched by QatarEnergy in March 2021 to a large group of LNG ship owners for the chartering of LNG carriers for its future requirements. Other ship-owners that have been selected by QatarEnergy as part of such process will be announced in due course.
QatarEnergy had earlier entered into an agreement, in April 2020, with Hudong to reserve LNG ship construction capacity in China for QatarEnergy’s future LNG carrier fleet requirements, including for the North Field expansion projects. The contracts signed today mark the commencement of design and construction of the first four new LNG carriers from Hudong, announced in October 2021.