By Regan E Doherty
Qatar Gas Transport Co and Damen Shipyards venture to run shipyard in Qatar.
Qatar Gas Transport Co (Nakilat) and Dutch firm Damen Shipyards Group are to jointly operate a shipbuilding facility at the Qatari port of Ras Laffan, the companies said on Thursday.
Nakilat, the world's largest shipper of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and Damen have agreed to set up a joint venture 70 percent held by the Qatari company and 30 percent owned by Damen to run the shipyard, a statement said.
Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar, the 15-hectare (37.1 acre) shipyard built on reclaimed land in the expanded port of Ras Laffan, will begin operations in the first quarter of 2010. Neither company gave the value of the deal.
The shipyards will produce commercial vessels, naval and coastguard ships and luxury yachts of up to 120 metres (394 feet) long.
Last year Nakilat raised $949 million to fund new ships, the last tranche of a $6.8 billion financing programme begun in 2006 to fund the building of 25 LNG ships at South Korean shipyards.
Qatar has said that it would complete the expansion of its LNG production capacity by September, adding a remaining 15 million tonnes per year to existing capacity of 62 tpy.
Qatar is the world's leading exporter of LNG. (Reuters)