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James Stafford

James Stafford

James Stafford is the Editor of Oilprice.com

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Hooking up the Grid: Power Ships and Floating Nuclear Plants

How do you overcome chronic power shortages in developing countries or in remote areas? “Power ships” and floating nuclear platforms.

First, we’ve got a massive new Turkish-owned vessel docked 100 meters off the coast of Beirut and hooked up to Lebanon’s electricity grid, delivering 188 megawatts of electricity daily. A second Turkish ship is scheduled to arrive in Lebanon in August, which should bump it to 270 megawatts daily.

Second, we’ve got a much bigger endeavor—Russia’s plans for floating nuclear reactors to dock in the remote Arctic. This floating nuclear power plant—the first ever in the world--will have two 35-megawatt generators that will be able to supply power to remote Arctic communities directly from the ship. It’s the Akademik Lomonosov, and it’s slated for completion by 2016. Once it’s finished, the Russians—courtesy of Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation--plan to build 4-6 more. The Akademik Lomonosov differs from the Turkish vessels in that it is not self-propelled; rather it must be towed to its destination.

The Akademik Lomonosov is an autonomous power facility, manufactured as non-self-propelled vessel. It is 140m long, 30m wide and 10m high. It has a draught of 5.56m. Its displacement is 21,500t with a crew of 70 people.

Once it’s docked, it will be able to provide electric power through two light-water reactors, heat, and fresh water through a…

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