Qatar’s grand shipbuilding program for LNG transport ships enters the second phase, with a new and larger tonnage, attracting the Greek interest among others.
Qatar aims to increase its liquefied natural gas production capacity by 126 million tonnes per year by 2027. Tenders will follow to select the shipowners who will order the vessels, which will be chartered for a long time to QatarEnergy, serving the country’s needs.
Shipbroker sources told “Naftemporiki” that during the first phase of the project, shipbuilding contracts were signed for a total of 66 LNG carriers. By the end of this year – and after some delays in the schedule – tenders are expected to go ahead for the second phase, in which up to 40 new contracts are expected. For now, the plan includes the construction of 106 LNG carriers, but the number may rise.
The Greek interest
From the Greek side, according to shipping brokers, during the first phase of the project, only TMS Cardiff Gas, the LNG carriers arm of the George Economou shipping group, participated. The same sources pointed out that they do not expect many more shipowners to participate in the new process, as the terms of the charter agreements signed with the Qatari company are not particularly attractive, at least for now.
Among the companies that operate in the market of LNG carriers are also Maran Gas, GasLog Group, Dynagas, Thenamaris, Minerva Gas, Tsakos, Latsco Marine Management, Chandris (Hellas), while Evalend Shipping recently expanded into the sector.