DSME delivers icebreaking LNG carrier
South Korean shipbuilding giant Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) said the world’s first ice class liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, Christophe de Margerie, completed the ice trials in the Arctic Ocean. The US$320 million contract 173,600-cbm LNG carrier built by DSME for Russian shipping company, Sovcomflot, and was moored at the Zeebrugge LNG terminal, on late January. The icebreaking LNG carrier is 299 meters long and 50 meters wide. The carrier will be used in developing a gas field on the Yamal Peninsula, in the western part of Siberia, the shipbuilder said. The icebreaking Arc-7 ice class carrier, capable of sailing through 2.1-meter-thick ice, is made of special steel plate, three times thicker than typical plates. Although icebreaker is not new, a gas tanker designed to force its way through the Arctic is the first kind. DSME was awarded with $4.8 billion contract to build 15 vessels of the kind. According to JoongAng Daily, to successfully construct a LNG carrier capable of sailing through thick ice, DSME developed an auto-welding robot known as Caddy. The newly developed ship is also equipped with three propellers called “azipod thrusters,” which can rotate 360 degrees to maximize forward and backward sailing through ice. The delivery of the icebreaking LNG tanker could be used as leverage in DSME’s attempt to stay afloat in the midst of a continuous financial crisis, as it shows the company has cutting-edge technology.