Submarine LNG Carrier Proposed By General Dynamics For Arctic Regions

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Two veteran shipbuilders have combined their knowledge of surface ship, submersible and cryogenic technology to propose transporting liquefied n a t u r a l gas (LNG) from the Arctic by submarine tanker.

P. Takis Veliotis, General Dynamics' executive vice presidentmarine and general manager of its Electric Boat Division, and Spencer Reitz, Electric Boat deputy general manager, outlined their proposal in a technical paper presented before the recent Gastech '81 LNG/LPS Confer- ence and Exhibition in Hamburg, Germany.

Electric Boat is a leading designer and builder of submarines f o r the U.S. Navy. A sister division, Quincy Shipbuilding, is a leader in surface LNG tanker design and technology. The paper, " A Submarine LNG Tanker Concept f o r the Arctic," explores the technical feasibility and economic viability of the submarine LNG tanker concept f o r the Arctic. The authors assert that the primary advantage offered by a submarine system over a surface ship system is the ability to deliver a constant cargo volume at uniform, predictable schedule intervals the year-round, regardless of surface ice and weather conditions.

Mr. Veliotis and Mr. Reitz say that the submarine concept would be competitive ecnomically with a surface icebreaking tanker system and considerably lower in cost than a pipeline system. The shipbuilders are proposing two versions of the tanker, one nuclear powered, the other conventional. The nonnuclear version, which would burn methane in supercharged boilers to power huge turbines, would be 1,470 feet long. The nuclear version would be 200 feet shorter. Each would have a beam of 228 feet and a depth of 92 feet. They would be operated by a crew of 32. The ships would carry the LNG in six 341-foot cylindrical cargo tanks with a total volume of 140,- 000 cubic meters. The tankers would load the fuel in Prudhoe Bay at submerged cargo stations and unload at surface terminals in an ice-free Canadian port — via the Parry Channel — or at a European port.

Projected cost per ship would be $700 million for the nonnu-

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