Doha, Qatar: QatarEnergy signed an agreement with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) for the construction of 18 ultra-modern QC-Max size LNG vessels, marking a significant addition to its historic LNG fleet expansion program.

The new vessels, with a capacity of 271,000 cubic meters each, will be constructed at China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard, a CSSC wholly-owned subsidiary, and will feature state-of-the-art technological innovation and environmental performance.

The agreement was signed in Beijing by HE Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, and by Chen Jianliang, Chairman of Hudong‐Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co. Ltd and Li Hongtao, Chairman of China Shipbuilding Trading Co.Ltd during a special ceremony attended by senior executives from QatarEnergy, QatarEnergy LNG, and China State Shipbuilding Corporation. The signing ceremony was attended by a number of senior Chinese government officials and Mohamed Abdullah Al-Dehaimi, Qatar’s Ambassador in the People’s Republic of China.

Speaking at the ceremony, HE Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, said: “With a total value of almost 6 billion dollars for these ultra-modern, largest ever LNG vessels by size, the agreement we signed today isthe industry’s largest single shipbuilding contract ever.”

HE Minister Al-Kaabi added: “It is our honor to continue working with China State Shipbuilding Corporation and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard to develop and build some of the top-tier LNG vessels renowned for their exceptional environmental qualities.And as we take this important step together, I would like to affirm QatarEnergy’s determination to live up to our commitment to provide a safe and reliable energy sourcein the form of LNG, while always giving priority to environmental sustainability.”

The Minister also highlighted that 12 conventional-size LNG vessels are currently under construction at Hudong-Zhonghua, and that delivery of the first such vessels is expected by the third quarter of this year.

Eight of the 18 QC-Maxsize LNG vessels will be delivered in 2028 and 2029, while the other ten will be delivered in 2030 and 2031.

Last month, QatarEnergy announced the signing of Time Charter Party agreements for a total of 104 conventional-size vessels (174,000 cubic meters) constituting the largest shipbuilding and leasing program ever in the history of the industry.

This new milestone further highlights the ever-growing cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the State of Qatar, especially in the energy sector. In 2023, Qatari LNG supplies to its main customers in China reached almost 17 million tons. Also in 2023, Qatar was also one of the major suppliers of Crude Oil (equivalent of 8.6 million tons), Naphtha (2.3 million tons), LPG (2.2 million tons), Helium (650 million cubic feet), and fertilizers, polymers and chemicals (1.6 million tons) to the Chinese market.

The year 2023 also witnessed the participation of two of China’s national energy companies as partners in Qatar’s prized North Field Expansion projects with Sinopec acquiring a 1.25%interest in the North Field East project and a 1.875% interest in the North Field South project, while at the same time signing 27-year LNG sales and purchase agreements for a total of seven million tons per annum. CNPC in turn, has acquired a 1.25% interest in the North Field East project and signed a 27-year LNG sales and purchase agreement for four million tons per annum.

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