DOHA - Major gas producer Qatar has started taking orders for its first five-year and 10-year U.S. dollar denominated green bonds, fixed income news service IFR reported on Tuesday, the Gulf Arab state's first external debt issuance in four years.

The initial price guidance for the five-year and 10-year bonds has been set at 70 and 80 basis points over U.S. Treasuries respectively, the IFR reported

The debt transaction, which is being led by Qatar's ministry of finance, will provide funds to help with financing of eligible green projects, IFR said.

"We're not hungry for the money. It's purely to make a statement," Qatari finance minister Ali Al Kuwari said in January, referring to the planned sale.

"The market is hungry for issuance. We've been approached by many investors."

Qatar, currently one of the world's largest exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG), is undertaking a massive expansion of gas production and will increase output by 85 percent by the end of the decade.

Global accountancy firm KPMG, in a December report, encouraged Qatar to issue green bonds and embrace sustainable financing mechanisms, saying the move would help the Gulf Arab state to meet its sustainability goals.

Credit Agricole and HSBC have been selected as green structuring coordinators, IFR said. Both will also act as global coordinators with JP Morgan and QNB Capital while Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International, SMBC Nikko Capital Markets and Standard Chartered are lead managers. (Reporting by Andrew Mills and Mohammad Edrees Writing by Andrew Mills Editing by Sonali Paul and David Goodman)