Qatar Gas Transport Company Limited (Nakilat) announced Wednesday the signing of a long-term agreement to charter and operate nine QC-Max class LNG vessels, as part of QatarEnergy's program to expand its fleet of LNG carriers.
The agreement was signed by HE Minister of State for Energy Affairs, President and CEO of QatarEnergy Eng. Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi and CEO of Nakilat Abdullah Al Sulaiti in the presence of senior officials from both companies.
Marking the occasion, HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs said: "We are very proud to have Qatar's flagship LNG shipping and maritime champion join a list of world-class shipowners to operate our state-of-the-art QC-Max LNG vessels - the largest ever built. There is no doubt that this is another testament to Nakilat's significant capabilities." His Excellency added that by signing the largest shipbuilding order in the history of this industry in March, QatarEnergy is moving forward with its historic program to expand its fleet of LNG vessels, and is fully confident that Nakilat and the shipowner companies that have been selected will ensure that the fleet is operated in accordance with the highest safety, environment, operational excellence and the, most advanced standards.
This signing follows QatarEnergy's recent agreements with Nakilat for the ownership and operation of 25 conventional-size LNG vessels. The agreement also comes a few days after signing similar agreements in Beijing with three Chinese shipowner companies to operate nine advanced QC-Max LNG vessels as part of its program to expand the LNG fleet, which will support Qatar's future energy needs while increasing its production capacity from LNG from the North Field to 142 million tons per year by 2030.
These nine (QC-Max) vessels, each with a capacity of 271,000 cubic meters, represent half of the advanced QC-MAX tankers being built at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in China. QatarEnergy's program to expand its fleet of LNG vessels included the implementation of contracts to build and operate 104 conventional-sized vessels and 18 QC-Max vessels, bringing the total to 122 advanced vessels, the first of which is expected to be delivered by the end of the third quarter of 2024.