Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Ever Happened to This Idea: Submarine Tanker Plans for LNG (Update Note)


The General Dynamics Corporation disclosed that it was discussing with several West German shipbuilders plans to build 28 submarine tankers to carry liquefied natural gas from the Arctic to North America and Europe.

The company said that the multibillion-dollar program called for construction of a tanker fleet and support facilities in the United States and West Germany.

The company did not identify the West German companies involved in the talks or who the buyer or buyers might be. General Dynamics said that, while it did not have any orders as yet, it had received ''enthusiastic responses'' to the plan. General Dynamics said that it had designed two versions of the tanker submarines, a $725 million nuclear-powered ship and a $700 million version powered by methane.

The possibilities for Alaska, some Eastern Europe countries like Poland and the Baltics.

An LNG facility off the coast of the Beaufort Sea. No billions of dollars invested in a pipeline. A reliable source for the Eastern European nations and the Baltics.

No worry about environmental laws on ice breaker tankers.

Shipping Industry Gears Up for Arctic Transport

While Arctic tanker traffic has not yet arrived, traffic in monetary speculation in Arctic tanker traffic has stepped up considerably the last few months. Shipbuilding companies are eyeing the potential Arctic market, planning to build vessels that will be able to plow through 10-feet-thick ice. When gas shipments start in 1985, the ships will have 4 times the power of conventional LNG carriers, costing $380 million each. In 1986, Dome Petroleum hopes to begin shipping oil from the Beaufort Sea.

Canada will need over 400 new ships and other marine equipment worth over $33 billion by 1990, according to a recent study of Canadian shipping demands. Vessels worth over $l3 billion are being planned for the Arctic region. Dome Petroleum will need 25 ice-breaking tankers of 200,000 tons and a number of highly technical special ships.

Of recent note was the announcement in November that General Dynamics wants to haul Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in $20 billion dollars worth of 1,470-ft-long tanker submarines from Alaska to West Germany under the Arctic ice. This was the first announcement that industry was planning to haul U.S. oil to a foreign market. Previously, Arctic tanker reports speculated about the Canadians shipping oil across the Beaufort and Bering Seas to Japan.

J. J . Murphy, General Dynamics V. P. for marketing operations, said that hauling the liquefied gas in submarine tankers would be 40 percent less expensive than hauling it in icebreaking tankers. While safety experts have wondered if explosions would result from ruptured LNG tanks leaking into warmer water, Murphy said that General Dynamics-built tankers and Navy submarines both have good operating records. Financing of the project would require U.S. government-guaranteed loans and shipbuilding subsidies to 25 percent of the building costs. In addition $1 billion in shore facilities in the U.S. and Germany would be needed. Some 15 subs would transfer LNG from terminals at Prudhoe Bay to ports in Europe and Canada, using sonar beacon paths, ensuring a year-round supply of gas. West German shipbuilders would assemble some of the submarines and do repair work in return for West German government investment.

Governor Palin, it's time to think outside of the box...

Update Note: The Russians are looking at developing it how about the U.S.

Wed Apr 15
10:27:37 AM direct access none
er-happened-to-this-idea.html Go (1) United States, Washington
(District of Columbia, 20426)***.**.**.* Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


Jumpin' Jack said...

This press release was dated April 1 and you got taken.

Man, you're two for two.

Tom said...

"..In the 1990s, the Malachite design bureau proposed plans for submarines capable of transporting petroleum or freight containers in or through Arctic regions. It was envisaged that these ships would dive under the polar ice cap to travel directly between European and Asian ports, and possibly northern Canada, with the designers noting that:

"Given equal cargo capacity, the efficiency of an underwater container ship is considerably higher, for example, than that of an icebreaker transport ship of the Norilsk type. The underwater tanker is competitive."[9]

The tanker and container variants would follow the same design as standard military nuclear submarines, with the tanker variant carrying almost 30,000 tons of petroleum, to be loaded and discharged from surface or underwater terminals. The container carrier was to transport 912 standard (20-foot) freight containers, loaded within 30 hours through hatches, assisted by internal conveyance systems. However, these plans came to nothing in the hard financial straits following the Soviet Union’s dissolution later in the 1990s.[9]

A similar design has been proposed by the Rubin Design Bureau with the 'Submarine Cargo Vessel', a civilian redesign of the famous Typhoon class submarine of the Cold War."

You might want to bone up on Rubin Design Burea and the the Cargo Submarine design...

I'd say you just stuck your foot in your mouth...