We like to think of the US Navy’s aircraft carriers as the biggest, baddest warships around. And they are. But at 1092’ and about 95,000 tons, they’re not even close to being the biggest vessels around. And right now, in South Korea, the biggest vessel in the world is under construction.
Off the northwestern shores of Australia lies a field of natural gas deposits that are huge. But natural gas is difficult to transport from the fields to the end users. The only way to move it by sea is to liquefy it by chilling it to extremely low temperatures. And so Shell is building a plant to do so, while moored in the heart of the gas fields offshore.
At 488 meters (that’s 1601 feet in real measurements) and 600,000 tons, it dwarfs an aircraft carrier. It’s expected to serve on station for a quarter century.
Gas will be pumped aboard, liquefied, stored, and then transferred to LNG tankers for transport to buyers.
And here’s an earlier look at the construction of Prelude, including some of the living quarters, which, let’s just say they’re a little nicer than aboard a carrier.