Marine

World's largest ship floated for the first time

The 488-m-long hull of the Prelude FLNG is floated for the first time
The 488-m-long hull of the Prelude FLNG is floated for the first time
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The 488-m-long hull of the Prelude FLNG is floated for the first time
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The 488-m-long hull of the Prelude FLNG is floated for the first time
The hull of Shell's Prelude FLNG is floated out of dry dock in Geoje, South Korea
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The hull of Shell's Prelude FLNG is floated out of dry dock in Geoje, South Korea
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The hull of the Prelude FLNG is longer than the Petronas Twin Towers are tall
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The hull of the Prelude FLNG is longer than the Petronas Twin Towers are tall
Graphic of the Prelude FLNG
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Graphic of the Prelude FLNG
Graphic of the Prelude FLNG
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Graphic of the Prelude FLNG
Graphic of the Prelude FLNG
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Graphic of the Prelude FLNG

A hull longer than the Empire State Building is tall has been floated out of dry dock in Geoje, South Korea. Measuring 488 m (1,601 ft) long and 74 m (243 ft) wide, the hull belongs to Shell's Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility, which upon completion will be the largest floating facility ever built.

Intended to allow production of natural gas, the processing of it into liquefied natural gas (LNG) and finally the transfer directly to transport ships, all while at sea, the Prelude will weigh more than 600,000 tonnes (661,400 tons) fully loaded and is expected to produce around 3.6 million tonnes (3.9 million tons) of LNG per year. Its total storage capacity is over 430 million liters (114 million US gal), or equivalent to around 175 Olympic swimming pools.

The hull of the Prelude FLNG is longer than the Petronas Twin Towers are tall
The hull of the Prelude FLNG is longer than the Petronas Twin Towers are tall

The Prelude FLNG will operate in a remote basin around 475 km (295 miles) northeast of Broome, Western Australia for around 25 years. The area's cyclone season runs from late November to April, but the Prelude is designed to remain onsite all year-round in all weather conditions.

It has been designed to withstand a category 5 cyclone and will be secured in place by one of the largest mooring systems in the world. This consists of a 93-m (305-ft) high turret, (which is large enough to house the Arc de Triomphe) that runs through the Prelude and is anchored to the seabed by four groups of mooring lines.

The hull of Shell's Prelude FLNG is floated out of dry dock in Geoje, South Korea
The hull of Shell's Prelude FLNG is floated out of dry dock in Geoje, South Korea

The mooring system allows the facility to turn slowly in the wind so as to absorb the impact of strong weather while remaining moored over the gas field. Additionally, two of the three 6,700-hp thrusters at the rear of the Prelude are able to operate at the same time to turn the facility out of the wind and allow LNG carriers to pull safely alongside for loading.

The floating behemoth is expected to be completed and producing natural gas by 2017. However, it may soon be overshadowed by something even larger. "We are designing a larger facility," Bruce Steenson, Shell's general manager of integrated gas programmes and innovation told Reuters last week. "That will be the next car off the rails."

The following video gives a brief overview of the Prelude FLNG.

Source: Shell

Construction starts at world's first FLNG project | Shell Prelude

18 comments
Craig King
Fantastic vision and engineering. Well done SHELL for keeping the world supplied with much needed energy.
notarichman
too bad shell didn't have it built in the usa. but then, can we even make a ship like that anymore???
Ken Buckley
I would like to take a tour of this ship
kalqlate
AMAZING engineering and construction project. GO HUMANS, GO!!!
bullfrog84
uugghhh natural gas... That and I don't know if everyone's noticed how much attention they adhere to current standards and practices with current platforms. This is their way of eliminating the middle man (on-shore/off-shore) refineries to increase their profit margin. I will never be surprised by the greed-driven innovations they develop and feed to us as if it it will have any affect at all on anyone's pocket-books, but their own. They want more money, that's it. You're an idiot if you believe any innovation a corporation comes up with isn't to isn't profit margin. Just wait, I can see in the headlines already, the name of this refinery/ships' name in the headlines accompanied by some disaster due to negligence.
warren52nz
I'm starting to think almost no one understands units of energy. In the video it says: "Each year Prelude will produce enough liquid natural gas to meet the needs of a city the size of Hong Kong." The energy requirements of a city are ongoing and can be measured in units of power like megawatts. The energy the Prelude can harvest in a year is a fixed chunk of energy. This statement is like saying my car produces 300 horsepower per year. It's nonsensical and I keep hearing from articles where the writers should know better!
Keith Reeder
"too bad shell didn't have it built in the usa" Why on earth would it do that? Shell is an ANGLO- DUTCH company.
nutcase
If the onshore hub at James Price point had been constructed we wouldn't need this kind of floating trash, and the engineering would be even more impressive. Unfortunately competing bands of "traditional owners" got hopelessly confused about who was more traditional. This equipment is a demonstration of how to bypass environmentalists by avoiding their habitat. Expect this ship to be harassed by Greenpeace like no other.
The Skud
Just think - One of these ships, a few I/C fuel supply conversions (already proven technology) and the farce that is hydrogen power for cars would disappear.
Rt1583
@ Keith Reeder Because we Americans, as a group, are too lazy to do some simple research before making a statement. We see a Shell filling station on the corner and automatically assume that it is a purely American company, even when we see no other aspect of the company within our borders.