While we all are well aware that the construction paradigm has shifted towards skyscrapers with engineers being busy in beating the world’s tallest building records, what we may not know is the fact there are other teams of engineers who have been working to come up with the world’s largest ship that can actually float, while it has a hull’s length which exceeds the height of Empire State Building. Feast your eyes on Prelude FLNG which has a 488 meter long hull and has already been tested for floating.
The hull is owned by Shell’s Prelude Floating liquefied natural gas facility and was floated from a dry dock in Geoje, South Korea. It will become the largest ship once it has been completed. The key idea is for this ship to be able to produce natural gas, process it into liquefied natural gas and then carry it to other ships where it will be used to fuel them during their journey. Prelude will weigh more than Six hundred Thousand tons when fully loaded and shall be capable of a production of around 4 million tons of LNG yearly. The capacity of this fantastic machine will be above 430,000 liters or 175 Olympic swimming pools.
The operation area for Prelude will be a basin which is located 295 miles Northeast of Broome, Western Australia, where it will be stationed for 25 years. Prelude will operate there all year long despite the weather conditions. The designers took into consideration a category 5 cyclone and the design will be able to endure one quite easily. The mooring system, where it will be secured, is one of the world’s largest for obvious reasons. This particular mooring system will consist of a 305 ft high turret which will run through the floating system and will be anchored to seabed using 4 mooring lines.
It is expected to be completed by 2017. There is also something else you need to know and it is best conveyed by Shell’s General Manager of Integrated Gas Programs and Innovation, Bruce Steenson’s own words; ‘We are designing a larger facility. That will be the next car off the rails.’