Nakilat enters additional jv with Angelicoussis firm

The 266,253cbm Q-Max LNG carrier Mozah during a voyage (credit: Nakilat) The 266,253cbm Q-Max LNG carrier Mozah during a voyage (credit: Nakilat)

Qatari gas firm Nakilat and Angelicoussis firm Maran Ventures have formed a new joint venture company, Global Shipping Co., incorporating four LNG carrier newbuilds.

With the addition of four new 173,400m3 LNG carriers, currently under construction at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea, the deal brings the number of vessels in Nakilat’s umbrella to 74, around 11.5% of global fleet capacity.

Having taken a 60% stake in the new jv, with Maran Ventures owning the rest, Nakilat is already working to find long-term charters for the new vessels. The deal adds to a previous one with Maran Gas, Maran Nakilat Co, in which Nakilat owns a 40% stake.

“We have seen a shift in terms of management and vessel technology in the industry, which we have taken into consideration,” said Nakilat’s CEO Eng. Abdullah Al Sulaiti. “Currently under construction in South Korea, the four modern vessels… are equipped with some of the most advanced technology in the market today, with two of them being equipped with ME-GI while the other two with X-DF technology.”

The ME-GI vessels will be delivered in 2020, while the WinGD X-DF vessels will follow in 2021. Nakilat is historically a major proponent of MAN Energy Solutions’ M-Type Electronically Controlled – Gas Injection (ME-GI) engines, with the first such engine retrofitted on Rasheeda in 2015 by Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM), replacing a low-speed diesel engine. The company mulled a plan to do likewise on 44 of its Q-Flex and Q-Max LNG carriers, but the initiative was scrapped after the vessels were deemed too old to benefit.

“This agreement is a step forward for the company as we expand our fleet with additional capacity to meet the growing international demand for clean energy. This has subsequently led to a significant increase in demand for LNG shipping, which we hope will have a positive effect on charter rates.

“With the 4 new vessels being managed and marketed by Nakilat, this not only affirms our global leadership in energy transportation but also bears testament to our vessel management and marketing capabilities with the world’s largest LNG fleet,” Eng. Abdullah Al Sulaiti added. “Nakilat’s steady growth highlights our robust financial performance and strategic planning, which comes as part of our efforts to maximize returns for our shareholders and support Qatar’s industry leading position as the world’s top LNG exporter.”

“Nakilat has been one of our strategic partners for many years and we are pleased to be strengthening our relationship with them,” added Maran Ventures Chairman John Angelicoussis. “Through this new venture, I am confident that we will continue to provide first-class services together for all our LNG customers around the world and look forward to further collaborations in the future.”

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