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Samsung Heavy Industries floats world's largest floating vessel

business Updated: Dec 05, 2013 15:56 IST
Samsung Heavy Industries

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has floated a tanker-shaped vessel tagged as the world's largest "floating facility" with a length greater than the height of the Empire State Building.

A Samsung spokeswoman said Thursday that the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platform -- named "Prelude" – was set in the water at its southern shipyard in Geoje on November 30.

The 488 metre (1,601 foot) long vessel cannot be described as a "ship" as it is unable to move under its own steam and must be towed.

But its specifications are impressive, outstripping the 443-metre tall Empire State Building in New York.

A South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries' tanker-shaped vessel tagged as the world's largest "floating facility", with a length greater than the height of the Empire State Building in New York, at a southern shipyard in Geoje. (AFP Photo/Samsung Heavy Industries)

Once complete, the facility will weigh more than 600,000 tonnes fully loaded, displacing the same amount of water as six of the world's largest aircraft carriers.

Seventy-four metres wide and 110 metres high, it is expected to produce 3.6 million tonnes of LNG a year and its storage tanks have a capacity equivalent to approximately 175 Olympic swimming pools.

Commissioned by the Dutch energy giant Shell, the facility is due to be delivered by September 2016.

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries' tanker-shaped vessel tagged as the world's largest "floating facility" at a southern shipyard in Geoje. (AFP Photo/Samsung Heavy Industries)

In a press release on its website, Shell said Prelude would operate in a remote basin around 475 kilometres (295 miles) northeast of Broome, a town in Western Australia, for around 25 years.

It is an all-weather facility designed to withstand the most powerful category-five cyclone.