After a brief review of the history and the on-going trend in the shipping of Liquefied Natural Gas, the presentation addresses issues and technological improvements that would enhance greatly the costefficiency of LNG in a price driven energy-market.

Sound competition, vessel's size and technical innovations are the key factors that have been identified to reduce cost of shipping, while maintaining safety and reliability at the unprecedented level set by the LNG shipping community.

The paper focuses on technical improvements achievable in the very near future, such as:

  • Containment system: G.T.T. is actively engaged in different ways to improve the Containment System. G.T.T. has launched a new containment system which reduces building costs while increasing the overall efficiency (insulation thickness, weight) of a new and improved generation of LNG Carriers and above all keeping a high degree of safety and reliability.

  • Hull bodylines: A new shape of tank (bi-oblique tank) has been developed allowing an increase of about 20% in the capacity of tank 1 compared to existing geometry. G.T.T. has developed with the assistance of Marin (Wageningen) a new set of hull body lines fully adapted to the bi-oblique tank. In this study, special care has been given to the performances of the ship.

  • New propulsion: historically LNG Carriers have been powered with steam turbines in spite of their low efficiency, weight and higher space occupancy when compared to other available systems, such as medium speed diesel engines or gas turbines. Those have both demonstrated their inherent capacities to comply with the requirements of LNG Carriers.

Improvements in these fields would impact positively on the cargo carrying capabilities of LNG Carriers.

Economic assessment, taking into account all parameters such as gain in capacity, investment and operating costs, should then offer a better solution for tomorrow's LNG transportation.

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Never ever before has the shipping world experienced a demand of such magnitude for sea-going vessels dedicated to the transport of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Do I really need to tell the distinguished floor that Natural gas is a clean burning energy transported by pipelines when in its gaseous state and in specially designed ships when liquefied at its boiling temperature and atmospheric pressure? In its liquid form, it weighs less than half the water.

The consumption of natural gas is growing worldwide at a faster pace than any of the other available primary energies, which are known to be much less friendly to the environment. The proven world's gas reserves are well in excess of the crude oil ones and regionally less concentrated than these of Crude Oil.

During the last decade of the last century, investment volumes req

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