A MONSTER LNG carrier has departed Curtis Island carrying the first shipment of LNG to a Japanese company that has signed up to buy 20 million tonnes over the next 20 years.
The 127,653 tonne LNG FUKUROKUJU, purpose-built for the contract between APLNG and Japan's Kansai Electric Power Company, left Curtis Island late last month carrying its first shipment as part of a 20-year contract.
APLNG boss Page Maxson said the shipment was a "significant milestone" in the facility's history, highlighting the strong partnership between APLNG and Kansai Electric.
As part of the contract the two companies signed in 2013, more than a million tonnes of LNG will be shipped from APLNG to Japan each year for the next two decades.
Production from the three LNG plants - APLNG, GLNG, and QCLNG - is expected to create an extra 25 million tonnes of trade travel through Gladstone's port.
"It also demonstrates the important role our business plays in delivering a cleaner form of energy to global markets," Mr Maxson said.
It's the 27th shipment by APLNG, which began exporting gas in January this year, less than a month after it began production.
The Japanese-built LNG FUKUROKUJU, a "Moss-type'' LNG carrier, left Curtis Island at 3pm on June 29.
Most LNG carriers can be identified by two distinct types of tank construction - the "Moss-type'' with rounded tanks and the "membrane-type'' with the tanks built into the ship.
The first LNG carrier with rounded tanks was the Norman Lady, launched in Stavanger in Norway in 1973.
The membrane-type ships, developed during the 1960s, use a thin flexible metal "membrane'' that is in contact with the ship's cargo.
Before 2000, 54% of LNG carriers were the Moss-type, mostly because Japanese shipyards were only licensed to build that type of ship. But now the membrane tanks outnumber the traditional Moss-type LNG carriers.
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