Qatargas, 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 plan to explore the development of new markets for LNG to be used as propulsion fuel for merchant vessels. The MOU envisages LNG supplies for this 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.
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.
“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,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Chairman of Qatargas Board of Directors, 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 both SOx emissions and in reducing the transport sectors CO2 foot print,” comments Nils S. Andersen, Maersk Group Chief Executive Officer.
Michiel Kool, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell Companies added: “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”.