Qatargas Operating Company Limited (Qatargas) reports that it has together with the Maersk Group and Shell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the development of LNG as a marine fuel in the Middle East region. Through the joint relationship the partners will explore the development of new markets for LNG to be used as propulsion fuel for merchant vessels.
The MOU was signed at a ceremony attended by Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Chairman of Qatargas Board of Directors, Qatargas Chief Executive Officer, Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Maersk Group Chief Executive Officer, Nils S. Andersen and Shell International Trading Middle East Limited General Manager, Danny Leek.
Qatargas explains the partnership can contribute to improve the environmental footprint of merchant shipping which currently relies predominantly on heavy fuel oils. 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 Maersk Line potentially using the fuel for its merchant vessels.
Commenting on this important milestone, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Chairman of Qatargas Board of Directors, said: “We are very proud to continue to pioneer new and novel opportunities to utilize Qatar’s LNG. We are also proud to partner with industry leaders such as Maersk and Shell to create potential new market opportunities for Qatar’s LNG and, at the same time, provide ship operators around the globe with a cleaner fuel alternative to the heavy fuel oils currently in use.”
“As part of the National Vision 2030, the State of Qatar is committed to playing a significant role in preserving and protecting the environment as well as researching and investing in new and innovative ways to achieve this” Mr. Al-Kaabi added.
Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Qatargas Chief Executive Officer, said: “Qatargas is committed to leading the industry in pioneering new applications for LNG and maintaining the highest environmental standards. We have recently celebrated a global first by proving the use of LNG as a reliable marine fuel in the converted diesel engines of our time chartered vessel MV Rasheeda, now fitted with an M-Type Electronically Controlled – Gas Injection System. The signing of this MOU is an important milestone in this journey. We are looking forward to continued close work and collaboration with our partners Shell and Maersk to develop the use of LNG to its full potential”.
Nils S. Andersen, Maersk Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “This cooperation between Qatargas, Maersk Group and Shell represents an important step in developing LNG as a viable fuel for maritime transportation. The possible use of LNG as fuel for ships presents an opportunity to reduce SOx emissions and the transport sector’s CO2 footprint.”
Michiel Kool, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell Companies said: “LNG fuel is a new alternative for ship and vessel operators responding to stricter emission control standards. 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 Qatargas, the largest LNG producer in the world and Maersk, the world’s largest shipping container company”.
The partners will work 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.