Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has completed the world’s first liquefied natural gas floating storage and re-gasification unit (LNG-FSRU).
The world’s largest shipbuilder held a naming ceremony for the vessel at its headquarters in Ulsan City on Feb. 19.In June 2011 the Korean company obtained an order from Oslo-based Höegh LNG to build the two LNG FSRU vessels.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, HHI president Lee Jae-seong, and Höegh LNG’s Deputy Chairman Leif O. Høegh attended the ceremony. President Grybauskaitė of Lithuania named the LNG vessel “Independence.” The vessel has a symbolic meaning, in that Lithuania is seeking to attain energy independence. To date, the country has relied on Russia for gas supply. However, it will soon be possible for Lithuania to get natural gas by docking the LNG ship in the Baltic region.
Called an LNG base on the sea, the 170,000 cbm LNG FSRU is 294 meters high, 46 meters wide, and 26 meters deep, with an LNG storage capacity of 70,000 tons. LNG FSRU refers to an offshore facility in which natural gas is stored in liquid condition and re-gasified to be supplied to facilities on land via pipelines.
Compared to LNG terminals on land, the construction period of floating ones are about a year less, and their construction costs can be decreased by half. In particular, the demand from Latin America and Southeast Asia is surging, because countries in those regions suffering from extreme energy shortages desire to build LNG facilities in a short period of time. Since LNG FSRUs are installed on the sea, the damage of the Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY) phenomenon can be lessened. In addition, floating LNG facilities are self-powered, and thus they can move easily based on current energy demands.