Qatargas, United Arab Shipping Company and Shell signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of LNG as a marine fuel in the Middle East region.
This is the second deal signed by Qatargas, the world’a largest LNG producer and LNG giant Shell related to developing LNG as fuel in the Middle East region.
The MOU was signed at a ceremony attended by Qatargas CEO Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, UASC CEO, Jorn Hinge and Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell Companies, Michiel Kool.
Through the joint relationship the partners will explore the development of new markets for LNG to be used as propulsion fuel within the Middle East Region and the conversion of UASC’s existing vessels providing the opportunity to use a “cleaner fuel”, the companies said in a joint statement on Sunday.
The deal envisages LNG supplies for this initiative to be made available from Qatargas 4 , a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Shell Gas B.V., with United Arab Shipping Company Line potentially using the fuel for its recently built container ships.
Qatargas CEO, Al-Thani said in the statement: “LNG as a transportation fuel is growing and we with our partners believe we have the people, tools and resources to make it a reality. Through this effort we know we can make a significant impact on how the shipping industry evolves over the next generation. We see this as our opportunity to support the international efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and create a cleaner environment for future generations.
Jorn Hinge, UASC CEO, said: “As part of our newbuilding program, UASC has received thirteen of seventeen new vessels over the past sixteen months; seven 15,000 TEU vessels and six 18,800 TEU ultra-large container vessels. We are due to take delivery of a further four 15,000 TEU vessels in the coming months. These ships are the greenest in the world and uniquely LNG-ready, meaning once the infrastructure is ready globally, with a quick and cost-efficient retrofit, they can run on LNG and become even more eco- friendly“.
Michiel Kool, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell Companies said: “Shell has been a pioneer in this area with our investments in LNG for transport infrastructure in Europe and the US, and we look forward to now deploying our expertise to create a regional hub in the Middle East in collaboration with two very strong global partners based in the region, Qatargas and United Arab Shipping Company”.