The always thorough My Life at Sea blog has the best article I have read to date on the history, inner workings and future of Liquid Natural Gas Carriers. You can read the full article HERE but I’ll share some of the highlights after the jump.
n 1914, Godfrey Cabot patented a barge to carry liquid gas, demonstrating that waterborne transportation was technically feasible. It was not until 1959, however that the Methane Pioneer, a converted cargo ship, was used to carry LNG between Lake Charles, Louisiana and the UK .
The first purpose-built ship, called the Methane Princess, went into operation in 1964 and remained in operation until 1998 when it was scrapped. To the end of 2005 a total of 203 vessels had been built and only 10 of them had yet been scrapped.
LNG carriers are unique in that the large majority of them are propelled by steam turbines, with new ships still being built with this propulsion method. This is because the simplest way of handling the boil off gas (BOG) is to burn it in the ships’ boilers, creating enough steam to propel the ship when supplemented with additional gas from the cargo tanks.
Called Excelsior, the massive red-hulled ship — almost two football fields in length and 15 stories high — is a signature piece in the world’s first offshore liquefied natural gas port, which began operating here last year.
The ship holds enough super-cooled gas in its tanks and labyrinth of gray pipes to heat about 30,000 homes for a year. But the ship’s critical attribute is the ability to turn that liquid back into a vapor at sea and pump it into an underwater pipe that carries the gas to shore.
There is Much More information on the original post so head over via the following link: