Qatargas Operating Company Limited (Qatargas) announced the completion of the first-ever commercial ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargo involving a Q-Flex LNG vessel. The transfer took place at Subic Bay, Philippines.
A full cargo of 212,000 cubic metres aboard the Qatargas-chartered Q-Flex vessel 'Mesaimeer' was loaded at Ras Laffan Port on 18 December 2020 and delivered as two separate parcel discharges. One parcel was delivered as the ship-to-ship transfer in Subic Bay on 6 January 2021 and the second parcel as a delivery to Jiangsu LNG terminal, China. Both sales were made to PetroChina as the customer.
Commenting on this significant accomplishment, Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatargas' Chief Executive Officer, stated: “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. This achievement will enable us to transport considerable volumes as efficiently as possible into key markets. 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 added: “STS transfers such as this one will optimise our shipping capabilities by using our 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."
The LNG vessel, 'Mesaimeer,' is on a long-term charter to Qatargas and operated by NSQL – Nakilat Shipping (Qatar) Limited.