Nakilat on Wednesday assumed full ship management and operations of Q-Flex LNG (liquefied natural gas) carrier Al Kharaitiyat from Shell Trading and Shipping Company (Shell).

This comes as part of the second phase of its planned fleet management transition programme, through which it is aiming to take complete ship management and operations of 25 (21 LNG and four liquefied petroleum gas or LPG) vessels.

With a cargo carrying capacity of 216,300 cubic meters, Al Kharaitiyat is wholly-owned by Nakilat and chartered by Qatargas. The vessel was built in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries, delivered in June 2009 and has been in service ever since.

Al Kharaitiyat is the second vessel that will come under the management of Nakilat Shipping Qatar (NSQL) this year as part of this second phase transition, bringing the total number of vessels managed by NSQL to 20, comprising of 16 LNG and four LPG carriers.

Its success in commencing the second phase of fleet management transition will contribute in laying a solid foundation for an integrated maritime industry in the country, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 for economic growth.

On the second phase of its fleet management transition, Nakilat chief executive Abdullah Fadhalah al-Sulaiti said "the management of our vessels centrally from Qatar will allow Nakilat to capitalise on existing synergies with our main charterer, realise operational efficiencies and optimise costs.”

Nakilat's recent business activities regarding ship management within a short period of time has not only contributed to the overall fleet growth, but also strengthened the position as a global leader and provider of choice for energy transportation and maritime services.

In 2017, Nakilat successfully transitioned 10 vessels to in-house management, achieving excellent results in safety and operational performance, better than the industry average in the global shipping sector.