Samsung's Latest Vessel Dwarfs Aircraft Carriers

Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has set a new benchmark for large floating vessels with a tanker-like floating facility that has the same displacement as six of the world’s largest aircraft carriers.

Samsung floated the liquefied natural gas (LNG) platform Prelude at its Geoje shipyard on November 30. The vessel is 488 meters (1,601 feet) long — about nine-tenths of a mile — 110 meters high — the height of a 33-story building — and 74 meters wide.

When it is completed for delivery to Shell in September 2016 it will weigh over 600,000 tons fully loaded, displacing the same amount of water as six of the world’s largest aircraft carriers.

It will go into operation off the coast of western Australia to produce 3.6 million tons of LNG per year. The LNG will be stored in Prelude’s tanks which will have the same capacity as 175 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The Prelude isn’t a ship because it doesn’t have a propulsion system. Instead it will be towed by tugboats to its station where it will remain in service for 25 years. It is built to withstand category-five hurricanes.