Alstom will be the first company in the world to install electric propulsion technology on a Liquid Natural Gas
(LNG) carrier, which is being built at ALSTOM's Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in France for the French utility Gaz de France.
The use of this technology on an LNG ship follows
the company's successes in electric propulsion for cruise ships, chemical tankers and other types of merchant and naval vessels
. The LNG ship, with a capacity of 74,000 cubic metres, will be delivered to Gaz de France by the end of 2004.
It will be propelled through a variable frequency main propulsion system, via a gearbox. The electric drive principally consists of two 9,550 kW, 1,200 rpm synchronous motors, supplied by two synchroconverters associated with a propulsion control and monitoring system.
The main advantages of electric propulsion for ships are: a significant gain in efficiency and safety; space-saving and thus bigger cargo capacity; lay-out and operational flexibility; increased manoeuvrability; and cost savings through lower maintenance.
Martin Murphy, Vice-President of ALSTOM's Marine & Offshore activity, said: "This new contract confirms the innovative capability of ALSTOM, based upon proven expertise and prestigious references in the field of marine electrical propulsion. Current and future LNG carriers will benefit from its reliability, flexibility and simple operation in addition to being the most cost-efficient propulsion solution available on the market."