Qatargas makes first ship-to-ship commercial transfer of LNG cargo in Philippines in latest feat

Wednesday, 13 January 2021
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Qatargas has completed another LNG shipping feat with the first ever commercial ship-to-ship transfer of a cargo involving a Q-Flex LNG vessel at Subic Bay in Philippines.

A full cargo of 212,000 cubic metres aboard the Qatargas-chartered Q-Flex vessel “Mesaimeer’ was loaded at Ras Laffan Port on the 18th December 2020 and delivered as two separate parcel discharges.

One parcel was delivered as the ship-to-ship transfer in Subic Bay on the 6th of January 2021 and the second parcel as a delivery at the Jiangsu LNG terminal in China.

Qatargas said that both sales were made to PetroChina as the customer.

“We are delighted to announce this shipping breakthrough as it is for the first time that one of the largest LNG vessels, a Q-Flex, is involved in a commercial STS operation,” said Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Chief Executive of Qatargas.

“This achievement will enable us to transport considerable volumes as efficiently as possible into key markets,” added Al-Thani.

“Moreover, this will be an attractive option for our potential customers with limited shipping capacity and for those who are looking for smaller or irregular sized cargo parcels,” he explained.

Qatargas intends to continue to optimise its shipping capabilities by using the most efficient LNG vessels to shift volumes into key high-value markets.

“I would like to thank PetroChina, who are one of our long-term partners in the LNG industry, for their support and cooperation,” stated the Qatargas CEO.

The vessel “Mesaimeer” is on a long-term charter to Qatargas and is operated by Nakilat Shipping (Qatar) Limited.

Another landmark shipping feat to demonstrate the company’s customer-focused service was carried out in June 2019 by the 266,000 cubic metres capacity Q-Max carrier “Mekaines”.

It loaded a cargo at Ras Laffan in Qatar and delivered two cargo “parcels”, one to the Barcelona terminal in northeast Spain and a second to the Cartagena regasification facility in southeast Spain.

The Q-Max vessels are the largest class of LNG vessels in the world, allowing the Qataris to deliver two full conventional-sized cargoes on one vessel.

In the same year, the 210,100 cubic metres capacity Q-Flex carrier “Al Safliyah” became the largest LNG carrier to transit the Panama Canal at the time when it sailed from the Pacific to the Atlantic side and then proceeded to the US export plant at Sabine Pass to break new ground in trading activities by lifting another cargo.

The “Al Safliyah” had left Ras Laffan in the Gulf with a cargo on April 5, 2019, and then unloaded the shipment at the Korea Gas Corp.-owned import terminal at Tong-Yeong in South Korea.

It then headed across the Pacific to complete the 80-kilometres Panama Canal passage to lift another cargo.

The successful transit of “Al Safliya” through the Canal created future triangulation Pacific-Atlantic opportunities for the Q-Flex fleet.

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