Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd has completed the development of a new generation liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier.

Dubbed the ‘EXTREM’ the carrier has been developed from the ‘Sayaendo 2’ Series which features a peapod-shaped continuous cover that houses the Moss spherical tanks. Unusually, the cover is integrated with the ship’s hull in lieu of a conventional hemispherical cover.

The new design promises to deliver greater structural efficacy as well as size and weight reductions that should both draw down fuel consumption and enhance compatibility to LNG terminals. With such assets in mind, it is perhaps understandable that MHI holds high hopes for the contemporary carrier. In a recent press statement the firm expressed its desire for the EXTREM to become, ‘a strategic product that will lead the LNG carrier market.’

The EXTREM differs from traditional Moss-type LNG carriers, as the EXTREM employs a continuous cover integrated with the ship’s hull to house all storage tanks completely, enabling the cover to be used to reinforce the hull for overall strength – particularly pertinent in frigid or icy-water regions. In contrast, conventional designs house pipes, wires and catwalks on top of the tanks, supported by complex structures - all in all a far more maintenance-heavy method.

Furthermore, the continuous tank covers also assist the aerodynamics by substantially reducing wind pressure that would otherwise serve as a drag on ship propulsion.

Mitsubishi who is most frequently known for its electronics field, has crafted the carrier to hold a capacity of up to 155,000m3 using four Moss-type tanks. The vessels measure 288 metres in overall length, 49 metres width, 26 metres in depth, and 11.5 metres in draft. Another ‘selling point’ of the carrier is its additional capacity over conventional Moss-type carriers of the same size. The EXTREM boasts 8,000m3 greater capacity, with 5% reduction in weight. Equally, the ship’s depth has been reduced by 1m which though a slight reduction, enables a better compatibility with major terminals in Japan and other countries.

For its main power plant, the EXTREM adopts MHI's $quot;Ultra Steam Turbine Plant$quot; (UST), a new turbine plant which achieves higher thermal efficiency through effective use of thermal energy by reheating steam. Together with downsizing, weight reduction and hull lines improvement, the new ship achieves a substantial 20% reduction in fuel consumption compared to conventional ships.