Samsung said it is the first order-intake in shipbuilding industry in 2009 and the LNG-FPSO ordering activity has begun in earnest.
Samsung had first developed the LNG-FPSO last year in the world, bagging order from UK’s FLEX LNG for four LNG-FPSOs. It said LNG-FPSO has now become shipbuilding industry’s main product and a new growth engine.
LNG-FPSOs can produce, liquefy and store natural gas on the sea and therefore on-land liquefaction and storage facilities are not required. They are customized special ships for the commercialization of the global 2,400-plus small- and medium-sized gas fields with the estimated reserves of around 100 million tons, and only Samsung has so far received orders for the units.
The LNG-FPSO ordered at Samsung this time will be 320 meters in length and 60 meters in breadth and have a storage capacity of 210,000㎥.
The shipowner of the unit plans to decide the gas field to exploit within this year and commission the vessel from 2013 for the production of 2.5 million tons of LNG per annum.
Meanwhile, although newbuilding orders have taken a steep downward trend from late last year, offshore plant orders including LNG-FPSOs and drillships are expected to increase gradually this year.
Indeed, major energy developing firms in Europe, America, Japan and Brazil such as Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil are planning to order some 30 LNG-FPSOs.
In addition to the 210,000㎥ capacity LNG-FPSO, Samsung is now also developing a grand-scale LNG-FPSO with a capacity of 560,000㎥ and it plans to concentrate its efforts on exploiting LNG-FPSO market this year. Ice-class LNG carriers and LNG-FSRUs are also being developed at Samsung.
Industry experts also expect the orders for LNG carriers which stood at just six ships last year to increase to more than 20 in 2009 from LNG producing countries such as Nigeria and Russia as the natural gas development market gets revitalized.