Building on a 38-year history of manufacturing external tanks for NASA’s Space Shuttle program, Lockheed Martin is producing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage tanks. The company is under contract to produce cryogenic LNG storage tanks for Wärtsilä, a Finnish power solution provider and Harvey Gulf International Marine LLC, a marine transportation company.
“There is a growing need for storing and transporting LNG to consumers,” said Dr. Rob Smith, vice president of Space & Cyber programs for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions. “Having developed complex cryogenic external tanks for NASA for years, it made sense for us to apply that technological expertise to the liquefied natural gas tank market.”
Lockheed Martin custom manufactures tanks in different variants and materials, and is currently manufacturing both marine-based LNG tanks for Offshore Supply Vessels and land-based tanks. All tanks are manufactured to ASME standards for pressure vessels using the quality and safety attention to detail that was implemented for the shuttle tank program.
Lockheed Martin is also investigating how to leverage existing capabilities and services to improve the safety and efficiency of distributing and handling LNG. For example, Lockheed Martin developed an auto-coupler solution for the Atlas V Launch Vehicle to safely and automatically transfer cryogenic fuel. If adapted to the LNG industry, this technology would safely simplify bunkering of cryogenic fuels in port.
(Source: Lockheed Martin)