Banking giant JP Morgan is being linked to an order for 12 LNG carrier newbuildings announced on Wednesday by Samsung Heavy Industries.

The South Korean shipyard said it has secured orders for a total of 14 LNG carriers worth KRW 3.9trn ($3bn) from two companies — one from Bermuda and the other from Africa.

SHI did not name the owners involved but said the African shipping company has booked two vessels and the remaining 12 LNG carriers were placed by the unnamed Bermuda owner.

Shipbuilding sources said the newbuildings are related to QatarEnergy’s LNG project.

Those following the LNG shipbuilding market named JP Morgan as the contracting party for the 12 LNG ships. The investment bank is paying close to $213m per vessel as the total value of the deal is KRW 3.3trn.

JP Morgan rarely comments on its LNG business but the company has been contacted for this article.

Sources said South Korean owners comprising H-Line Shipping, Pan Ocean and SK Shipping are behind the two-ship order. Dubbed “K3”, the trio is paying about $230m apiece for the 174,000-cbm LNG ships.

SHI did not disclose the delivery dates for the 14 newbuildings in total but sources said the yard will be handing them over between 2024 and 2026.

The 12-ship SHI order appears to be a turnaround for JP Morgan. TradeWinds understands that it was engaged in an intense discussion earlier this month with the Qataris over the charter rate. It appears the issue has been resolved.

Including the latest contract for the 12 LNG carriers at SHI, JP Morgan’s orderbook for the ship-type has grown to 26 newbuildings. Prior to this, it had seven newbuildings each on order at Hyundai Heavy Industries and SHI, according to online database VesselsValue.

SHI said JP Morgan’s latest LNG carrier contract is the largest single newbuilding deal it has ever inked. Last year, the Okpo-based yard pencilled in 20 container ship newbuildings but the deal only amounted to KRW 2.8trn.

SHI said including the 14 LNG carriers, it has secured 33 newbuildings worth $6.3bn this year. It has achieved 72% of its order target of $8.8bn.