South Korea: Samsung Heavy Industries Co., the world’s second-largest shipyard, will start building the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas carrier for an Exxon Mobil Corp. project in Qatar.
Samsung will cut steel for a 266,000 cubic-meter LNG tanker, twice the size of a typical carrier, in Koje island in South Korea tomorrow and deliver the vessel by August 2008, Robert Tustin, technical manager at Lloyd’s Register Asia, said by telephone from Koje island today. Lloyd’s Register inspects and certifies ships.
There are 45 LNG tankers of 200,000 cubic-meter capacity on order at Korean shipyards for Qatari gas projects, Tustin said. These orders include tankers of 209,000 cubic meters in size, known as the Q-flex, and 266,000, or Q-max, said Tustin, who has spent 23 years in the shipping industry. Each Q-max carrier costs about $300 million, he said.
Oil companies plan to spend a record $292 bn (Rs12,740 crore) this year on oil and gas exploration, production and refining as demand for fuel increases, according to analysts at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. That’s increased the need for vessels and helped yards in South Korea, the world’s biggest shipbuilding nation, to grab almost half of last year’s global orders for new ships.
As of January, there are orders for more than 140 LNG carriers with sizes exceeding 138,000 cubic meters, Tustin said, citing a report by Fairplay, a shipping newsletter.