Qatargas, United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), and Shell have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the development of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a marine fuel in the Middle East region.
This is the second agreement of this type that both Shell and Qatargas have signed and established core partnerships within the shipping industry. Through these joint relationships, 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.
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.” Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatargas Chief Executive Officer, also said: “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.”
Jorn Hinge, United Arab Shipping Company Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “As part of our new-building 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”.