The Q-Max or the Qatar Max is the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier class in the world. The name Q-Max refers to the maximum size of tankers capable of docking at the Ras Laffan terminal in Qatar. A typical Q-Max gas tanker is 345 m (1,132 ft) long, 53.8 m (177 ft) wide, and 34.7 m (114 ft) in height, with a draught of 12 m (39 ft). The Q-Max has a cargo capacity of 266,000 cubic meters (9,400,000 cu ft), equal to 161,994,000 cubic m of natural gas. According to estimates, this amount of fuel can light up 70,000 U.S. homes for one year.  Prior to Q-Max, Q-Flex ships were the largest LNG carriers with a maximum capacity of 217,000 m3 (7,633,283 cu ft).

Q-max LNG tankers

Q-Max LNG tankers have an on-deck re-liquefaction system to reduce the LNG losses and also protect the environment from toxins. The LNG tankers are provided with state of the art fire fighting system which uses foam and fog water for fire fighting instead of carbon dioxide. The ship is propelled by two slow speed diesel engines, which are environment friendly and more thermally efficient consuming 40% less energy with 30% fewer emissions than traditional steam turbines. Q-Max ships can travel at speeds of up to 19.5 knots or 0.4 miles per hour (0.7 km per hour).

LNG Ships at Ras Laffan terminal in Qatar

A total of 14 Q-Max tankers have been used in transportation of LNG from Qatar to several countries across the world.  All the Q-Max LNG carriers were built by Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding of Korea for the Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat). Mozah, the first Q-Max carrier, was delivered on September 29, 2008. On January 11, 2009, the tanker delivered its first consignment of 266,000 cubic meters (9,400,000 cu ft) of LNG to the port of Bilbao in Spain. The largest LNG tanker in the world, Q-Max can easily pass through the Suez Canal.

Length: 345 m (1,132 ft)
Beam: 53.8 m (177 ft)
Height 34.7 m (114 ft)
Draught 12 m (39 ft)
Capacity 266,000 m3 (9,400,000 cu ft)
Q-max Mozah