Evolution in Moss-type gas carriers
Built to transport Australian LNG to Taiwan, the world’s largest vessel based on Moss containment technology – and one of the first such vessels to use dual-fuel diesel-electric (DFDE) propulsion - has been delivered by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI).
The 182,000m3-capacity Pacific Breeze cut her teeth in April carrying an import ‘cool down’ cargo to the Ichthys LNG onshore processing facilities at Bladin Point, Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory. The consignment was used to cool down tanks and pipework in readiness for storing and handling LNG at the plant, where gas piped from the offshore Browse Basin will be converted into LNG and shipped to export destinations.
Beneficially owned by K Line, the new vessel has been chartered to IT Marine Transport, a joint venture of Tokyo-based Inpex Corporation, lead operator of the Ichthys LNG Project, and French energy group Total. She will be dedicated to the long-term shipment of some 1.75 million tonnes a year of Ichthys-produced LNG to Taiwan’s CPC Corporation.
As embodied in the 177,000m3 LNG Sakura, KHI achieved a 12,000m3 increase in cargo capacity on its preceding 165,000m3 generation of Moss-type LNGCs by marginally increasing tank diameter and the height of the equatorial ring. LNG Sakura was introduced to the US-Japan traffic just a few weeks ahead of the commissioning of Pacific Breeze, in which cargo volume has been upped still further, to 182,000m3.
The 5,000m3 gain has been achieved through the ‘stretching’ of the aftermost two of the ship’s four Moss independent tanks by adding 1.6m-deep equatorial rings. The re-moulding of the original design of sphericaltank into a hyper-eliptical form makes fuller utilisation of space within the hull envelope governed by dimensions for transit of the new Panama Canal locks. Sloshing and buckling analyses indicated the same reliability and freedom from filling constraints as offered by spherical tanks, an enduring attraction of the Moss technology.
The thermal insulation arrangements for the LNG tanks feature the Kawasaki Panel System, which is claimed to result in a cargo boil-off rate (BOR) of approximately 0.08% per day, among the lowest in the industry.
The immediately preceding delivery from KHI’s Sakaide yard, the twin-screw LNG Sakura, was the first completed Moss-type LNGC worldwide to incorporate dual-fuel electric propulsion, although the single-screw Pacific Breeze was the first to have been specified at contract with a combination of DFDE power and Moss containment technology.
The latest vessel employs five ABB gensets driven by MAN medium-speed, four-stroke machinery to deliver electrical energy to all main shipboard consumers, the propulsion train being comprised of two ABB electric motors, reduction gearbox and a single, 10m-diameter propeller. The installation provides for a service speed of 19.5 knots.
Ichthys will have the capacity to produce and ship about 8.9m tons of LNG and some 1.65m tons of LPG per year, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.
PRINCIPAL PARTICULARS - Pacific Breeze
Cargo capacity, 100%
Electric propulsion motors
2 x 15,030kW
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