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ADNOC Signs Letter of Intent with South Korean Shipbuilders to Construct Six LNG Carriers

According to Korean press reports, the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) national oil and gas company, ADNOC, has signed letters of intent (LoI) with Samsung Heavy Industries and Hanwha Ocean.

The total deal is estimated to be worth US$1.5 billion, as reported by South Korea’s national daily newspaper, The Korea Times.

ADNOC has agreed with the South Korean shipyards to build six vessels, with the final deal and details expected to be finalized in about a month.

This shipbuilding agreement is part of a broader effort to deepen ties between South Korea and the UAE. In 2023, the UAE committed to investing approximately US$30 billion in South Korean economic interests. The shipbuilding deal is a small component of a larger bilateral trade agreement signed during UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s first official diplomatic visit to Seoul. President Al Nahyan had previously visited South Korea multiple times before his presidency.

The Korea-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement encompasses duty-free trade of cars, car parts, electrical products, crude oil, and petrochemicals, set to be phased in over the next decade. The agreement aims to progressively eliminate tariffs on more than 90% of exports from both countries.

According to The Korea Times, weapons imports from South Korea to the UAE are a significant element of the trade deal.

In addition to the US$1.5 billion shipbuilding investment, the UAE is reportedly reviewing investment opportunities in projects worth over US$6 billion ahead of the anticipated ratification of the trade deal by both countries in the coming weeks.

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