The world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer, Qatargas has been rewarded for its environmentally friendly fleet.

The first accolade of its kind for the firm, was presented at this year’s Gastech 2011 when the Green Award Foundation presented it with a Certificate of Recognition for its fleet of LNG Carriers. Not only is it a first for the firm, but it is also the first time an LNG fleet has won the title.

The Green Award scheme was established in 1994 in order to promote quality and good environmental practice among sea-going vessels. Qatargas Chief Operating Officer, Ghanim Al-Kuwari, described the prestige behind the award, he said, “We are proud to be the first company to receive this recognition for our LNG carriers; and recognised in this global forum by the Green Award Scheme – with such an initiative that promotes our safe and environmentally responsible shipping.”

In response, Jan Fransen, Green Award Managing Director commented, “This is a moment of appreciation and also the introduction of a new ship type within the Green Award certification program. At the Green Award Foundation we very much welcome LNG carriers to the family of ‘frontrunners’ in the maritime industry.”

According to the Qatari firm, ‘green’ benefits include image improvement, charterers’ preference, reduced port dues, discounts on pilot services alongside training options, as well as bank reimbursements towards the certification cost. In order to maintain the Green Award standard, vessels must be inspected regularly by external surveyors.

The eco-accolade was presented at this year’s GasTech conference in Amsterdam. Qatargas COO accepted the award from Pieter Strulijs, Green Award Foundation Chairman.