MHI Receives Order for 7th "Sayaendo" New-generation LNG Carrier from "K" Line and INPEX Subsidiary JV to Transport Ichthys Project LNG
Tokyo, June 4, 2013 - On June 4, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) received an order for a "Sayaendo" series new-generation liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier to transport LNG procured by INPEX CORPORATION from the Ichthys LNG Project* in Australia. Sayaendo series ships feature a unique structure that integrates the LNG tank cover with the ship hull, resulting in significantly improved fuel consumption and maintainability. The order was placed with MHI by Ocean Breeze LNG Transport, Ltd. (OBLT), a joint venture between Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K" Line) and a subsidiary of INPEX. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to OBLT at the end of 2016. This order is the seventh that MHI has received for a Sayaendo series ship, and follows closely on the heels of another such order that was received last month.
To protect its four Moss spherical tanks, the Sayaendo features a peapod-shaped continuous cover integrated with the ship's hull in lieu of conventional hemispherical covers. This innovative configuration enables reductions in size and weight while maintaining the ship's overall structural rigidity. The continuous cover over the tanks also improves aerodynamics by substantially reducing air resistance that acts as a drag on ship propulsion. For its main power plant the Sayaendo adopts MHI's "Ultra Steam Turbine Plant" (UST), a new turbine that provides higher thermal efficiency through effective use of thermal energy by reheating steam. Through downsizing, weight reduction and hull line improvement, Sayaendo ships achieve a substantial 20% reduction in fuel consumption compared to conventional ships.
With a conventional cover configuration, pipes, wires and catwalks atop the tanks are supported by complex structures. By covering the tanks with an integrated cover and making those supporting structures unnecessary, the new design also improves maintainability. In addition, CO2 emissions are reduced as a result of decreased fuel consumption, and response to environmental issues is further enhanced with installation of a ballast water treatment system, which addresses impact on the marine ecosystem.
In April of this year MHI and Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. jointly established MI LNG Company, Limited, to handle the design and marketing of LNG carriers. The current carrier order, however, will be handled by MHI because negotiations for its construction (as was the case with the Sayaendo carrier ordered by Mitsui O.S.K. last month) predate the establishment of MI LNG.
After receiving an order for two ships in October 2011, to date MHI has received orders for seven Sayaendo series carriers in total, including the current order. The Sayaendo has been drawing great attention in the marine transport industry and is quickly becoming a leading force in the movement to develop energy-saving "eco-ships" offering enhanced environmental performance – an area in which the Japanese shipbuilding industry is actively engaged.
Owing to the suspended operation of nuclear power plants in Japan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as a expanded shale gas production in the U.S., demand for LNG and LNG carriers has been expanding not only in Japan but globally. As such, MHI will continue to expand its efforts to secure new orders for Sayaendo and other types of LNG carriers.
Note:The Ichthys LNG Project is a joint venture between INPEX CORPORATION of Japan (operator of the project) and Total S.A. of France, with participation from Japanese gas and electric power companies. The project aims to build a major facility in Darwin to liquefy gas extracted from the Ichthys gas-condensate field located approximately 200 kilometers off the coast of Western Australia. Gas production is scheduled to begin by the end of 2016.