US & World
Stretching further than the length of four football fields, weighing over 600,000 tons, and designed to withstand category 5 cyclones, Shell's latest construction project is the definition of grand scale engineering. Called the Prelude, it's a massive Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) processing facility, which this week lived up to its name by being floated out of its production dock in South Korea. It's still being built, with only the vast red hull making its way out to sea for the moment, but it's already a staggering sight to behold. Samsung Heavy Industries is responsible for the Prelude's construction, showing just how versatile and varied the Korean chaebol's operations are.
At 488 meters, the Prelude is longer than the height of most skyscrapers
Once everything is up and running, the Prelude will be towed south to the northern coast of Australia, where it's planned to operate for a period of 25 years. Extracting gas from offshore reserves, the FLNG will shrink its volume 600 times by a chilling process that reaches a frosty minus 162 degrees Celsius. From there, it'll load it directly onto ocean-going cargo ships for distribution around the world.
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