Qatar has sealed a major deal with South Korea covering the construction of 17 ultra-modern LNG carriers in a $3.9bn deal.

QatarEnergy signed an agreement with Korea’s HD Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the construction of 17 ultra-modern LNG carriers.

The deal, valued at 14.2bn Qatari Riyals ($3.9bn), will see the start of the second phase of QatarEnergy’s LNG ship acquisition program, which will support its expanding LNG production capacity from the North Field LNG expansion and Golden Pass LNG export projects, as well as its long-term fleet replacement requirements.

QatarEnergy’s historic LNG ship-building program is the largest of its kind in the history of the LNG industry and will play a pivotal role in meeting its future shipping requirements as it expands Qatar’s LNG production capacity.

Together with the 60 ships that were contracted for by QatarEnergy in the first phase of the program, which will be built at Korean and Chinese shipyards, the new deal brings the total number of confirmed new LNG vessels to be delivered to QatarEnergy and its affiliates to 77, and the company said there will be more to follow.

In a special ceremony held in Seoul, the deal was signed by Minister Al-Kaabi and vice chairman and chief executive of KSOE, Ka Sam-hyun.

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, minister of energy in Qatar, and president and CEO of QatarEnergy, said: “This is another milestone in our long-term relationship with HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and the Korean shipbuilding industry in general, which is built on the strong and strategic partnership between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Korea.”

Al-Kaabi added that these 17 LNG carriers will be built by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries to the highest technical and environmental standards and specifications.

“The vessels are designed to achieve optimal fuel efficiency and significant reduction in carbon emissions. This emphasizes our continued commitment as a leader in sustainability, innovation, and growth within the LNG industry.”

On his part, Ka Sam-hyun, vice chairman and chief executive of HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), pointed out that: “We value our partnership with Qatar, and we are very proud of taking part in the world’s largest LNG new build project. We firmly believe that this opportunity will further consolidate the long-standing cooperative relationship between our two countries and companies. We are fully committed to contributing to this project with the most advanced technology and expertise to ensure safer, more efficient, and reliable transportation of LNG from Qatar to all over the world.”