Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order for two “Sayaringo STaGE” next-generation LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers, for delivery to Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line). The carriers feature a new design that achieves significant improvements in both LNG carrying capacity and fuel efficiency through the adoption of a more efficient hull structure and an innovative hybrid propulsion system with capacity to use natural gas as fuel.
The “STaGE” (Steam Turbine and Gas Engines) hybrid propulsion system combines a steam turbine and engines that can be fired by gas. STaGE’s components consist of the “Ultra Steam Turbine” (UST) plant, a highly efficient reheating steam type marine turbine developed independently by MHI, a dual-fuel diesel engine capable of operating on both gas and oil, and an electric propulsion motor. Plant efficiency has been substantially improved through the UST’s effective use of the engine’s waste heat, resulting in a propulsion system enabling high-efficiency navigation throughout a full range of speeds.
In recent years demand for LNG as a fuel for generating power has been increasing worldwide, Japan included. Meanwhile, LNG produced in North America in tandem with America’s “shale gas revolution” is projected to grab an expanding share of the global market going forward, a trend that is resulting in longer LNG transport distances.
The new vessels will be put into service for transporting shale gas produced in North America. They are scheduled for completion and delivery in 2018.
The order for two Sayaringo STaGE LNG carriers was received through MI LNG Company, Limited, a joint venture between MHI and Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. The vessels will be constructed at MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works. Specifications will be LOA (length overall) of 293.5m, width of 48.94m, depth of 27.0m and draft of 11.05m. Total holding capacity of the tanks will be 165,000 cubic meters (m3).