BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 20 August, 2002, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Qatar set to buy Samsung gas tankers
Qatar oil and gas platform
Qatar has the world's third largest gas reservoir after Iran and Russia
South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has claimed it is near winning a $1bn order with Qatar to build six liquefied natural gas carriers.

Qatar is a major exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and boasts huge reserves of the fuel.

Samsung, the world's third biggest shipbuilder, said it expected to seal the Qatar deal next month, with each ship costing $160-70m.

"We are at the final stage of negotiations," said Samsung spokesman Lee Hong-youn.

"There may be some minor differences, but the deal will be closed by the end of September."

Warm welcome

The statement was welcomed as "encouraging" by Dongwon Economic Research Institute.

"It illustrates companies with the competitive edge can perform well even when there is an industrial slowdown," institute analyst Song Sang-hoon said.

Mr Hong-youn would not say which firm the ships would be built for.

Analysts said the most likely candidates were state-run Qatar Petroleum or the government's shipping firm.

Market leader

Strong demand for LPG carriers underpinned Samsung Heavy's profits during the first six months of the year.

If the Qatar order is sealed, Samsung will have sold 11 LNG ships so far this year, with the total global market for the vessels estimated at only 20-25 this year.

Last year, South Korean ship builders landed 21 orders for LNG ships, out of 29 worldwide.

But despite their global lead, South Korea's ship builders saw demand fall 30% during the April to June period this year.

Improved design

Samsung builds membrane-type LPG carriers.

Drawing of a Samsung Heavy Industries LNG ship
Samsung's LPG ships have four gas chambers

These are popular because they are cheaper to build and use less fuel than traditional models.

In addition, their four gas chamber structure leads to improved visibility for the crew and a lower centre of gravity, compared with the traditional globe-shaped design.

Samsung Heavy Industries shares gained 1% in Seoul on Tuesday.

Analysis of the oil market, OPEC, and the alternatives

Key stories:

Analysis

Background
See also:

09 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
08 Feb 02 | Country profiles
15 Oct 01 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes