On Wednesday, leading LNG infrastructure firm Chiyoda Corporation announced that it has received approval in principle from ABS for a new, unique vessel class: the floating LNG-fueled power plant.
The new design would reuse existing ship. Chiyoda proposes to convert surplus LNG carriers into floating electrical generating stations with a capacity of 70 to 400 megawatts. The power would be run onto shore with heavy electrical cables.
“By basing this concept on existing LNG carriers, we are able to reduce constructions costs and shorten delivery times," said Chiyoda project manager Toyomitsu Kanai.
Chiyoda's concept is similar to the Karadeniz Powerships, a fleet of converted merchant vessels with rows of diesel generators on deck. These mobile power stations run on HFO, with an option for natural gas fueling. Operator Karpowership has been contracted to supply electricity to small islands in Indonesia, port cities in Ghana and inland markets in Zambia, among other projects.
Like the Powerships, Chiyoda's mobile power stations would be able to serve remote areas and would eliminate the need for shoreside fuel infrastructure. However, they would have an advantage: powerplants dedicated to clean-burning LNG would have less environmental impact.
“As the energy mix shifts and global demand for gas increases, concepts like this will reshape how energy is supplied," said ABS' vice president for global gas solutions, Patrick Janssens. “By working closely with Chiyoda, we were able to help them prove the feasibility of this novel and innovative concept.”
Chiyoda is the biggest contractor in Japan for the construction of LNG receiving terminals, and it holds about 40 percent of the market for liquefaction plants worldwide – including contracts for Qatar Petroleum, the world's largest LNG producer. It also has experience with floating LNG liquefaction plants (FLNGs), a useful basis for the design of floating regasification and power generation systems.