Five South Korean shipping firms are planning to form an alliance to secure liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation contract from Qatar Petroleum.

The companies include Hyundai LNG Shipping, Pan Ocean Company, Korea Line Corp, SK Shipping Company and H-Line Shipping Company.

Qatar Petroleum is likely to sign contracts for at least 40 LNG carriers for its North Field Expansion (NFE) project by the end of the year.

The Qatari state-run oil company might consider placing an order for additional 60 LNG carriers for the LNG project.

Qatar usually prefers the South Korean shipbuilders to construct the LNG carriers due to their technical expertise. However, local shipping firms are also hoping to secure the contracts.

A shipping firm official said: “It’s worth a try. What is meaningful is that local shippers are trying to join forces to overcome difficulties together.”

Recently, South Korea and Qatar discussed cooperation in some of the key sectors such as energy and agreed to collaborate on smart grids and solar energy.

In April, Qatar Petroleum issued an invitation to tender for the construction of more than 100 LNG vessels to extra shipping capacity for its North Field Expansion (NFE) Project, which will increase its LNG production to 110 metric tonnes a year, beginning in 2024.