Doha - Qatar Petroleum has invited tenders for the construction of more than 100 LNG ships. These ships are required to meet the ship requirements associated with the expansion of the Qatargas LNG liquefaction project and the Golden Pass LNG project in the US. Plus they will be replacement tonnage for old steam turbine ships in Qatargas’s shipping portfolio.
According to the research firm Drewry, this prospective order will have minimal impact on short-term charter rates. Continuing with the historical trends, the Qatargas orders are expected to be backed by long-terms charter contracts from LNG liquefaction projects where Qatar Petroleum has invested. However, if new orders are confirmed, LNG shipbuilding slots will become limited, in turn, pushing newbuilding prices.
Qatar plans to increase its LNG production capacity from 77 metric tonnes per annum, mtpa, presently, to 110 mtpa by 2024. Previously, Qatar Petroleum issued engineering procurement and construction (EPC) tenders for the four Liquefied Natural Gas mega-trains for its Qatari liquefaction project. In addition to serving Qatar’s domestic expansion plan, the new orders will also serve Qatar’s Golden Pass LNG project in the US. The Golden Pass LNG liquefaction project will have a nameplate capacity of 16 mtpa of LNG and is expected to come online by 2024. Together, these two projects alone are expected to generate demand for 60 LNG ships.