The U.S. Energy Information Administration (U.S. EIA) prepared the list shown on the following pages of 206 LNG tankers either operating or on order. Almost all of the ships built since the 1990s have a capacity in the range of 135,000-145,000 cubic meters (cu m) (average 63,000 tons of LNG). The largest LNG tanker on this list is under construction at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a 153,000 cu m vessel ordered by Gas de France. These 206 tankers have a capacity of 25 million cubic meters (12,000,000 tons of LNG).
The average capacity of the LNG fleet built from 1965 to 2004 is 119,000 cu m. The average size of the 21 ships on the list for 2005 delivery is 141,000 cu m/ for the 11 ships on the list for 2006 is 142,000 cu m.
As shown in the graph below, LNG carrier capacity trends have tended to follow the growth trend in liquefcation train capacity. The largest train operating by the end of 2004 was the 5 million tones per year (tpy) SEGAS Damietta Egyptian LNG. The largest train under construction is the 7.8 million typ Qatargas II Plus. Qatargas II is also ordering the largest LNG carrier: four of 209,000 cu m and four 216,000 cu m; these ships will be built in Korea at a cost of $1.8 billion, average cost $225 million. New regasification facilities in the U.S. are being designed to handle LNG tankers in the 200,000-250,000 cu m size.
There are currently about 100 ships on order. The total number of LNG tankers required in 2020 is discussed in Section VIII.
However, new LNG tankers are continuing to be ordered in the 145,000-155,000 cu m size. BP ordered seven built in Korea (two 145,000, three 153,000 and two 155,000). Oman has four under construction at 145,000 cu m. The first tanker being built in China is 147,000 cu m.
There may also be a demand for LNG tankers much smaller than 100,000 cu m and a few have already been built although they would carry a very, very small percentage of the LNG demand in 2020. For the purpose of estimating the cryogenic pump market they will be ignored.
LNG carriers built in the 2007-2020 time period are estimated to have an average size of 170,000 cu m based on the following capacity distribution:
10% < 150,000 cu m
50% at 155,000 cu m
20% at 175,000 cu m
20% > 200,000 cu m
In order to estimate the number of tankers needed in 2020 (see Section VIII) it was necessary to determine the average amount of LNG a tanker could transport in one year. In 2004, worldwide LNG imports totaled 140 million tons (BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2005, see Table in Section VI) delivered by a fleet of 164 LNG carriers. Each tanker, on average, delivered 853,000 tons that year.
As noted above, the average capacity of tankers built between 1965 and 2004 was 119,000 cubic meters. The capacity of tankers built between 2005 and 2020 is estimated to average 170,000 cu m, a 43 percent increase and each of these ships could deliver 1,220,000 tons in one year.
There are eight major shipyards currently building LNG tankers: three in Japan, three in Korea and two in Europe. China is building their first LNG carrier scheduled for delivery in 2007. Hyundai Heavy Industries is the world’s biggest shipbuilder.