Earlier this month, there was a vessel transaction entry–
Nakilat (Qatari entity) purchase of 10 older LNG tankers.
Given these are steam turbine LNG tanker (read: bad shipping options after 2023), there seems to be some debate on why these vessels were purchased. As noted below, Nakilat had purchase options on said vessels, which is not unusual if you have long term charter contracts on said vessels.
What I am more intrigued by is the statement–
Qatargas has reserved a total of 151 LNG berths at South Korean and Chinese shipyards, of which 16 have been firmed up recently.
The South Korean shipyards piece was not surprising. I mean the Qataris and South Koreans made a big deal about the $19B spending and 100 LNG tankers a few years ago. But, I’m a little puzzled about the “reserved” comment. Does this mean the actual number of LNG tankers built is still on the whim of the Qataris? And this whim now extends to a pair of Chinese shipyards too? If so, I can now understand the relaxed posture of some dry bulk shipping owners.
I mean, at least initially, the dry bulker owner can address emissions by slowing down the sailing speed of their respective vessel. From the above link, it sounds like that option is not too viable for the steam turbine LNG tankers. While on the topic of LNG tankers, I noted that the article completely missed another option - how about turning some of those older LNG tankers into bunkering tankers. I mean, there are a whole bunch of vessels (container ships, conventional tankers) currently being built, with LNG as their secondary fuel. How are them “boats” going to be refueled? It isn’t like there is a handy LNG refueling location at many ports worldwide?
Anyhow, interesting challenges for the future.