MHI next-generation LNG carriers on order

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is to build two next-generation LNG carriers for Mitsui & Co Ltd that will feature hybrid propulsion systems.

The 297.5m vessels, which will be built at MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works, will feature a STaGE (Steam Turbine and Gas Engines) propulsion system that combines a steam turbine and engines that can be fired by gas. The STaGE system consists of an Ultra Steam Turbine Plant (UST), a highly efficient reheating steam type marine turbine developed independently by MHI, a dual-fuel diesel engine capable of operating on both gas and oil, and an electric propulsion motor.

MHI says plant efficiency has been significantly improved through the UST’s effective use of the engine’s waste heat, resulting in a propulsion system enabling high-efficiency navigation throughout a full range of speeds.

The vessel will also feature four apple-shaped tanks and an improved version of high-reliability Moss-type tanks, the capacity of which will be 177,000m³. MHI says LNG carrying efficiency has been increased as the vessel width has been kept to a size enabling its passage through the newly expanding Panama Canal, expected to go into service in early 2016.

MHI says it’s now looking to attract increasing demand for its next-generation LNG carriers and hopes to contribute to both the domestic and global LNG transport industries.

The vessel are scheduled for completion and delivery in 2018 and 2019. They will be put in to service for the Cameron LNG Project in the US, which calls for the establishment of a new natural gas liquefaction facility to refine and liquefy shale gas and other natural gases produced in the US for export at a rate of up to 12 million tonnes per year.

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