Five South Korean shipping companies are looking to create an alliance in order to secure huge LNG transportation orders that would be placed by Qatar.
Companies including Korea Line, Pan Ocean, SK Shipping, Hyundai LNG Shipping and H-Line Shipping will present their plans for Qatari LNG project in Doha on October 14, Korean Yonhap News Agency cited industry sources as saying.
The shippers are joining forces as they reportedly eye contracts to operate the yet-to-be-built LNG fleet.
The announcement comes amid high-level talks between South Korea and Qatar. On October 13, Sung Yun Mo, Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy met in Qatar Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatari Minister of Energy, to discuss the cooperation between the two countries in the field of energy.
In February 2019, Al-Kaabi, who also acts as the CEO of Qatar Petroleum, confirmed the country’s intention to order up to 60 new LNG carriers by the end of the year.
Subsequently, Qatar Petroleum launched in April a major LNG shipbuilding program with an invitation to tender for the reservation of ship construction capacity to built the next-generation LNG carrier fleet.
The vessels would be constructed for the Qatari North Field Expansion Project that is expected to increase the country’s LNG production capacity from 77 million tons per annum (mta) to 110 mta starting in 2024.
In line with Qatar’s efforts to reinforce its position as the world’s largest LNG producer, the country plans to build up to 100 LNG carriers over the next decade under its shipbuilding campaign.
Apart from addressing shipping requirements for the North Field Expansion Project, the tender covers shipping requirements for the LNG volumes that will be purchased and offtaken by Ocean LNG, a 70%/30% joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil, from the Golden Pass LNG export project in the United States by 2024. The tender also includes options for replacement requirements for Qatar’s existing LNG fleet.
South Korean shipbuilders are considered as favorite bidders to win the LNG carrier construction deals due to their experience in the LNG segment.
World Maritime News Staff