South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has floated a tanker-shaped vessel tagged as the world’s largest “floating facility” with a length greater than the height of the Empire State Building.
A Samsung spokeswoman said yesterday that the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platform — named Prelude — was set in the water at its southern shipyard in Geoje on Saturday.
The 488m-long vessel cannot be described as a “ship” because it is unable to move under its own power. It has to be towed wherever it goes.
However, its specifications are impressive, outstripping the 443m-tall Empire State Building in New York.
Once complete, the facility will weigh more than 600,000 tonnes when fully loaded.
It will displace the same amount of water as six of the world’s largest aircraft carriers.
Seventy four meters wide and 110m high, is expected to produce 3.6 million tonnes of LNG per year and its storage tanks have a capacity equivalent to approximately 175 Olympic swimming pools.
Commissioned by the Dutch energy giant Shell, the facility is due to be delivered by September 2016.
In a press release on its Web site, Shell said Prelude would operate in a remote basin about 475km northeast of Broome, a town in Western Australia, for about 25 years.
It is an all-weather facility and is designed to withstand a category-five cyclone, the most powerful storm on the rating system.