Korea’s three major shipbuilders are looking forward to a big order for liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers from Qatar Petroleum (QP), a state-owned oil company in Qatar which has recently decided to mass-produce LNG.
QP officials recently visited Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries to check their capacities to build super-sized LNG carriers.
TradeWinds, a global media outlet specializing in shipbuilding and shipping industries, also reported on Jan. 24 that Qatar officials visited shipbuilders in Korea, China and Japan to assess their shipbuilding capabilities.
Qatar is expected to order 30 to 40 super-sized carriers with 200,000 to 266,000 cubic meters (Q-Max, Q-Flex), TradeWinds reported.
Qatar has announced in September last year that it would scale up production of LNG 43 percent by expanding lines in North Dome, the world's largest offshore gas field.
Qatar is in need for a large number of new LNG carriers as it plans to increase LNG exports starting in 2023 and has to reorganize its current LNG carrier fleet.
Anticipation for a big order is growing among the Korean shipbuilders as they have already won massive orders for LNG carriers from Qatar. They swept the 45 LNG carriers ordered by Qatar from 2004 to 2007. Back then, DSME took 19, Samsung Heavy Industries 18 and Hyundai Heavy Industries eight.