The world’s largest mega-ship, the Prelude, was removed from its dry dock in South Korea last week. And no, it is not the status-symbol extender acquired by Russian business mogul Roman Abromovich … at least not today.
Actually, the Prelude is owned by Shell. It is 243 feet wide, 1,601 feet long, and weighs 600,000 tons. Wired magazine reported that the super-size vessel is 150 feet longer than the height of the Empire State Building in New York City. The mega-ship set in a dry dock while under construction in South Korea over the past year.
While it is a classified as a ship, it is actually a FLNG, an acronym for a floating liquefied natural gas facility. The ship/facility will be moved to the coast of West Australia and remain there for the next 25 years. It will launch in 2017 and remain in West Australia through 2042 (or until Roman Abromovich buys it, guts it, refurbishes it, and reclaims his title as the owner of the largest mega-yacht in the world!).
…. Since the Prelude has to process and hold 175 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of the liquid natural gas year-round, it has to withstand anything Mother Nature sends its way. For that, there’s a 305-foot-tall turret that runs through the ship and into the seafloor, keeping the Prelude anchored and allowing it to slowly pivot to the direction of the wind. Between the moorings, the turret, and the three 6,700-horsepower engines, the ship can handle a category 5 hurricane.