DOHA: Qatari marine transport company, Nakilat, has taken over the full ship management and operations of its first LNG vessel, the QFlex Al Hamla, from OSG Ship Management – UK Ltd. This was announced by H E Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al Sada, the Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman of Nakilat recently.
The planned takeover of operations by Nakilat, the world’s largest LNG shipping company, is the first in a series that will include three other LNG vessels within the next two months. Dr Al Sada officially initiated the takeover of the technical ship management of the first LNG vessel in Nakilat’s fleet via a video conference call in the presence of media and senior management of the marine transport company.
He said: “This great achievement against a fast and challenging timeline, could not have been possible without the hard work and the dedication of everyone in Nakilat, the OSG office in Newcastle, and onboard the vessels.”
The minister said: “At Nakilat, we hold great pride in our mission and vision of being the world’s leading owner and operator of vessels for the transportation of liquefied natural gas and associated products”.
Al Sada urged everyone to meet the highest of safety standards, and to ensure the full use of the onboard safety management systems. “We enjoy a remarkable safety track record and we aim at the highest safety standards within the industry,” he added.
Nakilat’s Managing Director Abdullah Fadhalah Al Sulaiti also congratulated Nakilat’s staff and the ship’s officers and crew on this remarkable achievement.
“We have invested heavily on building and developing the infrastructure and foundation at Nakilat. The decision to take over the operation is part of a long-term strategic decision,” said Al Sulaiti during a press conference held at Nakilat’s Al Sadd office.
Asked if fluctuations in demand for LNG in 2013 have had any impact on Nakilat’s activities, he said: “All our capacity was fully utilised, and we are not worried with regard to demand-supply fluctuations. In fact, with the latest announcement of Nakilat being the owner as well as operator of the LNG fleet, coupled with our strong foundations, we are looking forward to enhance capacity in the days to come.”
With a cargo capacity of 216,000 cubic metres, Al Hamla is owned 50.1 per cent by Nakilat and 49.9 per cent by OSG. The vessel was built in South Korea by Samsung Heavy Industries and was delivered in February 2008. Al Hamla is in active service for charterer Qatargas II and has completed delivery of 45 cargoes worldwide.
Nakilat intends to continue with its objective of taking over ship management responsibilities of more LNG vessels as part of its long term strategic vision, plan and growth.
Nakilat provides the essential transportation link in the Qatar’s LNG supply chain. Its LNG shipping fleet is the largest in the world, comprising 61 LNG vessels.