Philippine construction firm Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific (AG&P) recently unveiled a design for a small, 'ultra-shallow draught' LNG carrier optimised for use in Southeast Asia's rivers and harbours that has a draught of just two metres.
Mr Derek Thomas, head of AG&P's Advanced Research Unit, discussed the viability of the proposed vessel in transporting small volumes of LNG over short distances at the 4th Annual Gas Asia Summit in Singapore on Wednesday, October 26.
The company attests that the vessel's design makes it ideal for delivering LNG to areas that are in need of it but are hampered by limited access, such as the island communities typical in countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.
Described by its designers as a 'workhorse', the vessel will incorporate a hull design which reduces both the waterline entrance angle and resistance in waves, hence improving stability and eliminating the need for handling tugs.
The vessel's cargo capacity can be adjustable to anywhere within the 4,000 to 8,000 cubic metre range since larger LNG cargoes can be broken down into smaller portions as the need arises. This will enable the vessel to safely deliver smaller shipments through inland waterways for 'milk runs' as well as transporting bigger cargoes out in the open sea.
AG&P claims the first ultra-shallow draught LNG carrier could be completed within 16 months at their shipyard in Batangas some 100 kilometres south of Manila.