18 April 2016
Qatargas, United Arab Shipping Company and Shell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the development of LNG as a marine fuel in the Middle East region.
This is the second such agreement signed by Qatargas and Shell in as many months and establishes another core partnership within the shipping industry. The MOU was signed at a ceremony attended by Qatargas Chief Executive Officer, Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, United Arab Shipping Company Chief Executive Officer, 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 MOU envisages LNG supplies for this pioneering 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.
In Comments on this important milestone, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Chairman of Qatargas Board of Directors, said: “LNG as a marine fuel is gaining momentum in the deep sea transportation industry as the best alternative to meeting increasing environmental standards.”
UASC container ship BARZAN - one of the industry’s most eco-efficient container vessels Image: UASC
Jorn Hinge, United Arab Shipping Company Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “UASC, with Shell and Qatar Gas, is fully committed to environmental sustainability and developing LNG as a marine fuel. 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”.The signing of this agreement reinforces the commitment and innovative approach that is being undertaken by industry leaders Qatargas, Shell and United Arab Shipping Company to identify and develop new market opportunities through collaboration and strategic partnership.
The partners will continue to work diligently to develop LNG as Marine Fuel and fulfil aspirations of supplying the Merchant Fleet with clean burning fuel before the end of the current decade.