The hull for the world’s largest floating facility named Prelude, even bigger than the Empire State Building, began floating for the first time on November 30. South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries floated this partially built, tanker-shaped vessel at its southern shipyard in Geoje.
The hull has been constructed to process natural gas off the coast of Western Australia. Here are some of its salient features:
• The hull is about 488 m (1,601 ft) long and 74 m (243 ft) wide and weighs about 600,000 tonnes.
• The vessel’s storage tanks have a capacity equivalent to about 175 Olympic swimming pools.
• Prelude cannot be called a ship as it is not capable to move under its own steam and must be towed.
• This liquefied natural gas platform will operate in a remote basin around 295 miles northeast of Broome, Australia, for around 25 years.
• Prelude is expected to produce 3.6 million tonnes of LNG a year.
• It has been designed to withstand a category 5 cyclone.
Commissioned by Dutch energy giant Shell, this floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility will be the largest floating facility ever built when it’s completed. Prelude is likely to cost over $12 billion (£7bn) to build and is a potential game changer for the oil and gas industry.