Liquefied Natural Gas Carrier

Definition - What does Liquefied Natural Gas Carrier mean?

A Liquefied Natural Gas Carrier, abbreviated as LNG carrier is a vessel specially designed to carry natural gas from one location to another in liquid form. Converting natural gas into liquid and then transporting it through LNG carrier is the easiest and most economical way of supplying natural gas. The gas is converted into liquid in such cases where supplier and buyer are not connected via interstate and intrastate gas pipelines.

Petropedia explains Liquefied Natural Gas Carrier

As the natural gas market grows, the use of LNG carriers also increases as not all the locations are connected via pipelines. These LNG carriers transport natural gas in liquid form from one country (producer of natural gas) to another (end user of natural gas) via sea route. At the port of loading (i.e., at gas producer country), natural gas is converted into liquid form at liquefaction terminals to form Liquefied Natural Gas or LNG. LNG is natural gas which has been converted into liquid form so that it can be easily stored and transported. It takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state.

This LNG is loaded onto the LNG carriers which consist of cryogenic storage tanks whose temperature needs to be kept at the -100 degree Celsius because natural gas generally liquefies at this temperature only. In order to avoid any boil-off of natural gas during loading, transportation & unloading, a continuous cryogenic temperature needs to be maintained.

At the unloading port, the LNG is converted back to gaseous form by regasification process and transported to the various demand centers via gas pipelines, i.e., feeding into the local gas distribution system of the consumer country side.

LNG carriers are used for transportation in the following conditions:

  • When natural gas needs to be supplied at distances that are generally longer than 3000 kilometers. With distances less 3000 km, transportation is carried out via gas pipelines.
  • When bulk transportation of natural gas is required.
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