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Qatar Petroleum Leads Effort to Design New Generation of LNG Carriers

new designs for LNG carriers
Saga Dawn introdcued in 2020 was the first to use the new containment system (SagaLNG Shipping)

Published Mar 10, 2021 4:04 PM by The Maritime Executive

Qatar Petroleum along with several leading international LNG companies is launching an effort to develop a new generation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers that incorporate new cargo containment systems. According to the companies, LNG cargo containment systems are highly specialized and have experienced few improvements over the past decades.

The multi-party agreement establishes a collaboration between Qatar Petroleum, LNT Marine, the American Bureau of Shipping, and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding to work on the development of new medium and large designs. Other major LNG companies, including Qatargas and affiliates of ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell, and Total, will also participate in the project.

Commenting on the agreement, His Excellency Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum said: “We are pleased to collaborate with LNT Marine, ABS, and SWS to introduce new designs utilizing innovative technologies to the LNG shipping industry. With this signing, Qatar Petroleum reaffirms its commitment to the continuous improvement of the LNG industry by supporting new concepts and encouraging innovation in areas that benefit the industry as a whole, in a safe and economic manner.”

The project will be looking to incorporate a new cargo containment system developed by LNT based on IMO requirements for independent type A tanks. The system, which features an IMO independent prismatic type A tanks as the primary containment, was first deployed on a smaller LNG carrier the Saga Dawn in 2020. Aboard that vessel that is operating between Singapore and China, the tanks are supported by laminated wooded supports and liquid-tight thermal insulation attached to the hull compartment as an independent secondary barrier. ABS classed the Saga Dawn, which was constructed by China Merchants Heavy Industry at its Jiangsu shipyard in Haimen, China.

“We are very pleased to cooperate with Qatar Petroleum and other market leaders in the LNG industry, to support new technology development for the next wave of LNG carriers,” said David Wu, LNT Marine’s Founder and Chairman. “Based on our decade of hard work and today’s cooperation with Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas, and the other distinguished international partners, including ABS and SWS, we have confidence in our ability to develop state-of-the-art LNG carrier designs to accommodate the future shipping requirements of the LNG industry.”

Among the companies participating in the effort is Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding. The yard is a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

In June 2020, Qatar Petroleum entered into construction agreements valued at nearly $20 billion with South Korea’s three main shipyards, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Hyundai Heavy Industries, and Samsung Heavy Industries for the construction of more than 100 LNG carriers.  At the time, said that it had secured approximately 60 percent of the global LNG shipbuilding capacity for the next seven years, creating the largest LNG shipbuilding program in history. The three shipyards reserve a major portion of their LNG ship construction capacity dedicating it through 2027 to Qatar Petroleum.