Qatar Petroleum (QP) has signed a multi-party agreement with Singapore-based LNT Marine, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) to collaborate on the development of new medium and large liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier designs.

The agreement paves the way for the establishment of a joint industry project (JIP) that targets the development of new LNG carrier designs, utilising the LNT A-Box LNG cargo containment system, QP said in a statement.

Other signatories to the agreement include Qatargas and affiliates of Western energy companies ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total.

The LNT A-Box LNG cargo containment system is a new design that has recently been deployed on the 45,000 cubic-metre ABS-classed vessel ‘Saga Dawn’, which entered commercial service in the second quarter of 2020.

“We are pleased to collaborate with LNT Marine, ABS and SWS to introduce new designs utilising innovative technologies to the LNG shipping industry,” Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar’s minister of state for energy affairs and president and CEO of QP, said.

“With this signing, Qatar Petroleum reaffirms its commitment to the continuous improvement of the LNG industry by supporting new concepts and encouraging innovation in areas that benefit the industry as a whole, in a safe and economic manner,” Al-Kaabi said.

LNG cargo containment systems are highly specialised and have experienced few improvements over the past decades.

LNT Marine is a technology provider and innovator within the LNG sector, developing gas carriers and cryogenic insulation systems for marine applications.

“LNT A-Box introduces a step change in LNG containment systems and demonstrates the potential to improve LNG transportation economics in the coming years,” QP said.

ABS, a leading global provider of classification and technical advisory services to the marine and offshore industries, is committed to setting standards for safety and excellence in design and construction.

SWS is a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation with experience in vessel and offshore structure construction.

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