TOKYO -- Modec has developed a power plant ship that uses liquefied natural gas as the fuel for electricity generation.
The Japanese supplier and operator of offshore floating platforms will start taking orders in early 2017, targeting developing economies of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.
Moored to a pier or anchored offshore, the vessels will receive LNG from tankers. They will gasify the fuel on board to generate electricity for transmission to the onshore grid via undersea cable.
Requiring no land, they can be up and running sooner and with none of the risks of terrestrial power plants that might face local resistance.
Electric companies will take delivery about two years after placing orders. The 300-meter LNG power generation ships will be offered in versions ranging from 84,000kW to 720,000kW. A 250,000kW system meeting the needs of roughly 150,000 people will cost a total of some 40 billion yen ($360 million), including design, materials procurement and construction.
Customers can opt for a gas turbine combined-cycle system that uses gas and steam turbines to generate electricity. A desalination system can be added to turn seawater into freshwater.
Floating power plants based on diesel generators are so inefficient that only dozens are in operation or planned worldwide. The LNG-based vessels are more efficient at generating electricity and do so with a smaller carbon footprint.
In this market, Modec faces competition from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is pushing similar power generation ships in such archipelago nations as Indonesia and the Philippines.
But Modec -- a top two builder of FPSO systems for floating production, storage and offloading -- has considerable design experience in efficiently positioning equipment in limited space.