The first in the series of Q-Max vessels that Qatar Gas Transport Co. (Nakilat) is building for charter to Qatargas was recently floated out of dry-dock to continue further construction work at the Samsung Heavy Industries Yard in Okpo, South Korea.

The vessel will be the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier in the world when completed, with a cargo capacity of up to 266,000 cubic meters.

Martin Rowland, Fleet Management Director of Nakilat, commented: "It is tremendously exciting for everyone involved in the construction process to see the world's largest LNG carrier be safely floated out of her dry-dock. It is a testament to the commitment shown by everyone involved that the vessel remains on schedule to be delivered on time."

Andy Richardson, Shipping Construction Project Manager for Qatargas also said: "We are very pleased with the construction progress to date. The site team and the shipyard, as well as being very focused on the job at hand, are working hard together to deliver this ship as safely as possible."

The Q-Flex and the even larger Q-Max are a new generation of LNG mega-ship with about 40% lower energy requirements and carbon emissions than conventional vessels due to the economies of scale created by their size and the efficiency of the engines.

In total, contracts have been signed for the construction of 31 Q-Flex ships, 14 Q-Max vessels and 9 conventional carriers, totaling 54 ships, all of which will either be wholly owned by Nakilat or through joint ventures in which Nakilat participates.