QatarEnergy, CSSC to Build 18 Large LNG Vessels

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As part of QatarEnergy’s fleet expansion program, China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC) will build 18 QC-max size LNG vessels with a capacity of 271,000 cubic meters each.

QatarEnergy and CSSC signed a nearly $6 billion agreement to construct 18 ultra-modern QC-max size LNG vessels with a capacity of 271,000 cubic meters. They will be built at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in China. Eight of the vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2028 and 2029, while the remaining 10 will be delivered in 2030 and 2031.

“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,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, CEO of QatarEnergy. “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 source in the form of LNG, while always giving priority to environmental sustainability.”

A series of participating companies signed the agreement at a ceremony in Beijing and Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi announced that 12 additional LNG vessels are under construction at Hudong-Zhonghua. These will be delivered in Q3 2024.


“With a total value of almost $6 billion for these ultra-modern, largest ever LNG vessels by size, the agreement we signed today is the industry’s largest single shipbuilding contract ever,” said Al-Kaabi.

Adding to the company’s LNG fleet expansion program, QatarEnergy and four international shipowners—CMES LNG Carrier Investment, Shandong Marine Energy, MISC Berhad, and a joint venture between Kawasaki and Hyundai—signed time charter party (TCP) agreements for the operation of 19 conventional size LNG vessels.

The TCP agreements cover the operation of six vessels by CMES LNG Carrier Investments, six vessels by Shandong Marine Energy, and three vessels by MISC Berhad. Samsung Heavy Industries will build these 15 LNG vessels at its shipyards in South Korea. The final four vessels fall under a joint venture between Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Hyundai Glovis and are being built at Hanwha Ocean’s shipyards, also in South Korea. Each of these vessels have a capacity of 174,000 cubic meters and will be outfitted with modern LNG shipping technologies to maintain optimal fuel efficiency and minimize carbon output in transport.

The buildout of QatarEnergy’s LNG fleet is driven by Qatar’s goal to expand LNG production capacity. In February 2024, QatarEnergy announced that work is currently underway at a new LNG expansion project, North Field West, to increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity to 142 MTPA before the end of 2030. This production increase is approximately 85% higher than current Qatari production levels.

Al-Kaabi announced that extensive appraisal drilling and testing have confirmed productive layers of Qatar’s North Field extend towards the west, which allows for the development of a new LNG production project in Ras Laffan. The CEO also announced the presence of large additional gas quantities in the North Field estimated at 240 trillion cubic feet, which raises Qatar’s gas reserves from 1,760 to more than 2,000 trillion cubic feet. Condensate reserves were also raised from 70 to more than 80 billion barrels, in addition to quantities of liquefied petroleum gas, ethane, and helium.