Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) will take delivery of its first 100 per cent wholly-owned Q-Max vessel next year, said the company.
The Q-Max vessel is due to be delivered in August next year after 17 months of construction at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries. It is one of 10 Q-Max ships to be constructed at Samsung to service the major liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion projects of Qatargas.
The vessel will be used to transport LNG for the Qatargas II project which is expected to deliver 15 million tones of LNG per annum. Besides, eight Q-Flex vessels destined for Train 4 and 6 Q-Max vessels intended for Train 5 are being built in Korean shipyards.
The eight Q-Flex vessels will be jointly owned by Nakilat and several other international ship-owners. All of the Q-Max vessels intended for Train 5 will be wholly owned by Nakilat in line with the company’s goal to becoming the world’s largest LNG ship owners. Keel block floating in dock.
Upon completion of its current shipbuilding program scheduled for early 2010, Nakilat will have taken delivery of some 25 wholly owned vessels, consisting of 14 Q-Max vessels and 11 Q-Flex vessels.
In addition to the Qatargas II project, these vessels will be used to transport LNG for the Qatargas 3 (Train 6), Qatargas 4 (Train 7) and RasGas III (Train 7) projects.
Nakilat also has equity interests (ranging from 20% to 60%) in a further 29 LNG carriers (inclusive of the eight Q-Flex vessels to be used in the Qatargas II project).
The Q-Max vessels represent a quantum leap in the size of liquefied natural gas carriers and will be the first ships in their class. With a capacity of up to 266,000 cubic meters, an overall length of 345 meters and powered by slow speed diesel engines with an onboard re-liquefaction plant, they are a class apart from the traditional LNG carriers in service today.
With the laying of the first Q-Max vessel’s keel being constructed at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea Qatargas marked an important milestone in its ship construction program, said Jim Adams, Chief Operating Officer of Qatargas II.
A ceremony for the LNG carrier’s keel-laying was held at the shipyard of Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea last Thursday.
Keel-laying is one of the key stages in the construction of a vessel, which sees the commencement of the block assembly process that will eventually lead to a completed hull ready for floating out of the dock.
These state of the art vessels have incorporated design features not previously associated with LNG carriers, such as twin slow speed diesel engines with twin propeller and dual rudder systems, as well as a re-liquefaction plant to liquefy the boil off gas and return it to the cargo tanks.