Oman - On the back of “great maritime co-operation” with Qatar in the energy sector, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) also plans to expand its presence in the naval and specialised vessels sectors, an official has said.

Gabriel Kim, Senior Sales Manager/Sales – International Defence Programme Naval & Special Ship Business Unit, spoke to Gulf Times on the current state of maritime co-operation between Qatar and HHI, particularly in the naval and specialised boat sectors, in an exclusive interview at the headquarters of Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) in Seoul.

Asked about the future role of HHI in supporting Qatar’s maritime and naval objectives, including potential technology transfer and knowledge sharing, Kim said: “As a Korean naval shipbuilder, we are interested in supporting Qatar’s naval force development. As for potential technology transfer and knowledge sharing, we are open to discussion with Qatar’s Amiri Naval Forces.”

Kim’s statement came in the wake of QatarEnergy’s QR14.2bn deal with HHI for the construction of 17 ultra-modern LNG carriers, which was signed recently in Seoul by HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi, also the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, and Ka Sam-hyun, vice-chairman and CEO of HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE).

Speaking on the impact of maritime collaborations on Qatar’s defence and naval capabilities, as well as the economic ties between the two nations, Kim said the South Korean shipbuilding firm is hoping that through co-operation between the Amiri Naval Forces and HHI, the company can serve to strengthen the defence capabilities of Qatar’s navy and also enforce robust bilateral trade relations.

Asked if plans are in the pipeline for HHI to expand its presence or engage in new projects, Kim said: “We are open to discussions with the local industry to engage in new projects that align with Qatar’s development in maritime technology and infrastructure development.

Earlier, a QatarEnergy statement announced that its recently signed deal with HHI “marks the start of the second phase of QatarEnergy’s LNG ship acquisition programme, which will support its expanding LNG production capacity from the North Field LNG expansion and Golden Pass LNG export projects, as well as its long-term fleet replacement requirements.”

Commenting on this occasion, al-Kaabi said: “This is another milestone in our long-term relationship with HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and the Korean shipbuilding industry in general, which is built on the strong and strategic partnership between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Korea.

“These 17 LNG carriers will be built by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries to the highest technical and environmental standards and specifications. Further, the vessels are designed to achieve optimal fuel efficiency and a significant reduction in carbon emissions. This emphasises our continued commitment as a leader in sustainability, innovation, and growth within the LNG industry.”



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