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QatarEnergy inks agreement to build 18 large-scale LNG carriers

QatarEnergy has entered into an agreement with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) to build 18 large-scale LNG carriers.

As explained, these vessels, known as Q-Max units and to be delivered by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, will each have a capacity of 271,000 cubic meters, making them the largest-ever LNG ships ordered to date.

QatarEnergy already has 14 Q-Max vessels in long-term charter, each with a capacity of around 266,000 cubic meters, supplying various global markets including Far Eastern and European regions.

These new vessels will be significantly more efficient, transporting LNG equivalent to the gas needed for 4.7 million Shanghai homes for a month, which is 25-30% more efficient than smaller vessels of 170,000 cubic meters capacity.

Qatar’s LNG shipbuilding initiative represents the largest program of its kind in the sector’s history, involving 104 conventional newbuilds secured under long-term charter contracts with multiple shipowners. 

Although specific financial details for the new Q-Max series were not disclosed, industry sources estimate each vessel to cost around $330 million. Nakilat is expected to take half of the orders, with the remaining vessels going to Chinese companies.

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