LNG vessels are ships designed to carry large amounts of LNG overseas. There are currently 136 LNG vessels worldwide that safely transport approximately 120 million tonnes of LNG every year. A typical large LNG vessel can be 930 feet long and 145 feet wide. These vessels are specially designed with double hulls to protect the cargo tanks. They are equipped with the most up-to-date navigation and communications technology.
LNG carriers are among the most costly cargo vessels built. New LNG ships cost in excess of $260 million as compared to $70 million for a very large crude oil carrier. The vessels are maintained and operated by highly skilled officers and crews. LNG carriers have made more than 40,000 ocean voyages covering more than 96 million kilometres and are among the safest and most reliable cargo fleets at sea today. Because natural gas that boils-off from the cargo tanks is used as fuel, they are also among the cleanest ships at sea.
LNG ships are designed and constructed to meet the stringent standards of international, national and regional codes. Internationally, carriers must meet the Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk, also known as the IGC code. Design and construction of LNG vessels is also monitored and inspected by shipping industry oversight groups called Independent Classification Societies as well as the ship’s country of origin.
The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for the safety and security of shipping in Canadian waters. The Coast Guard works with LNG terminal operators and local harbor authorities in Canada to develop operational plans and procedures to ensure the safe transit of LNG vessels.