Scale: 1:200. A well executed and highly detailed model of one of the technological marvels of modern shipbuilding. The smallest fittings, such as the handrails, have been made in meticulous detail. Just in front of the funnel, we can see the crew’s swimming pool, with its awning. The portside companion ladder is depicted stowed while the one on the starboard side has been lowered. Despite its small scale one is immediately aware of the fact that the model depicts a massive vessel and a huge leap forward in shipbuilding terms. It was presented to the NMM by Burmah Oil Trading Ltd., whose parent company owned the actual fleet of eight LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers built to supply Japan with a constant supply of Indonesian natural gas.

‘Aquarius’ (1977) and its sisters. ‘Aries’, ‘Capricorn’, ‘Gemini’, ‘Leo’, ‘Libra’, ‘Taurus’, and ‘Virgo’, were each designed to carry 125,000 cubic metres of LNG per voyage: enough gas to supply a city of 500,000 people for a month. The gas is carried in 120-foot diameter aluminium spheres, five per ship, at a temperature of -165°C. During the liquefaction process the volume of gas is reduced 600 times. Each sphere weighs 850 tons and is composed of 42 segments of aluminium 50 mm thick.

A brand new assembly hall, barge and construction crane was needed to manufacture and deliver the tanks to General Dynamics’ Quincy Shipbuilding yard in Massachusetts where the entire fleet was built. ‘Aquarius’ was the first to be completed and entered service in June 1977. In June 2005 a longevity study concluded that the fleet will continue to provide safe and reliable transportation of LNG until at least 2020.

Object Details

ID: SLR2505
Collection: Ship models
Type: Builder's, Full hull model
Display location: Not on display
Vessels: Aquarius (1977)
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall model: 310 x 1490 x 250 mm; Original case: 473 x 1703 x 385 mm
Parts: Aquarius

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