Qatar Petroleum has ordered four liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group Co. Ltd. (Hudong), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC), the company said in a statement.

The company further elaborated that these four carriers are the first group of its ambitious LNG shipbuilding program, which will be used to accommodate future LNG fleet requirements for the North Field expansion projects and the possible need to replace existing vessels.

“We continue to push forward with our LNG expansion projects, and today’s announcement is yet another step in our journey,” Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs and Qatar Petroleum’s President & CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said. “We are also confident in Hudong’s capabilities to execute this order, worth in excess of 2.8 billion Qatari Riyals, to the highest safety and technical standards and to deliver top quality LNG carriers that will facilitate continued safe and reliable delivery of LNG to the world.”

It should be noted that the North Field expansion projects will increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 million tons per annum (MTPA) to 126 MTPA.