South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has won a 1.07 trillion won (US$852 million) contract to build four liquefied natural gas carriers to transport volumes from the Qatar LNG project.

Daewoo will build the four LNG carriers at its Okpo yard on Geoje Island for a South Korean consortium of SK Shipping, Pan Ocean and H-Line Shipping.

The vessels, which are due for delivery by the first quarter of 2025, will deliver cargoes of LNG from gas from QatarEnergy’s North Field Expansion project.

The newbuild vessels will each have a dual-fuel propulsion engine and reliquefaction facility, intended to reduce pollution.

QatarEnergy two years ago signed deals with Daewoo and compatriots Hyundai Heavy Industries and Samsung Heavy Industries to reserve slots for LNG carriers to support the NFE project.

The Middle East nation has ambitious plans to boost in two phases its nameplate liquefaction capacity from the current 77 million tonnes per annum to 126 million tpa by 2027.

Qatar Petroleum (now QatarEnergy) early last year took the final investment decision on the first phase of its $28.75 billion NFE project that will increase liquefaction capacity to 110 million tpa with the addition of four new trains, each with nameplate capacity of 8 million tpa.

QatarEnergy’s LNG carrier fleet programme is the largest of its kind in the LNG industry and is designed to meet the shipping requirements of its LNG expansion projects, as well as replacing part of Qatar's existing fleet.

Daewoo earlier this year secured an 863.5 billion won (US$704 million) contract for three very large LNG carriers for a North American customer, believed to be US producer Venture Global LNG.

These three 200,000 cubic-metre LNG carriers are due for delivery by the end of 2025.

Daewoo is targeting $8.9 billion-worth of orders in 2022.