MV Gastor

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Name: Gastor (1976–1993)
LNG Lagos (1993–)
Owner: Bonny Gas Transport (1993–)[1]
Port of registry: Hamilton,  Bermuda[1]
Builder: Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Saint-Nazaire, France[1]
Yard number: A.26[1]
Completed: 1 January 1976[1]
In service: 1993–
Identification: IMO number: 7360124
Call sign: ZCAK8[1]
Status: In service
General characteristics [1]
Type: LNG carrier
Tonnage: 81,472 GT
24,442 NT
68,206 DWT
Length: 275 m (902 ft 3 in)
Beam: 42 m (137 ft 10 in)
Draft: 12.9 m (42 ft 4 in)
Depth: 26.14 m (85 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: Steam turbine (25,024 kW (33,558 hp))
Single shaft with fixed pitch propeller
Speed: 19.7 knots (36.5 km/h; 22.7 mph)
Capacity: Six tanks, 122,000 m3 (4,300,000 cu ft)

MV Gastor and MV Nestor were two LNG carriers built at the French shipyard Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire. Although delivered in 1976 both ships only entered real service in 1993, after their sale to Bonny Gas Transport Bermuda Shell, a subsidiary of Nigeira LNG Limited. Under their original names (Gastor and Nestor), the ships never transported any cargo.[2][3]


The ships were sister ships owned by different companies: Nedlloyd and Ocean. They were built in 1976-1977 at the Chantier d'Atlantique shipyard of St. Nazaire. After completion they never came into service and were both laid-up for years in the Scottish loch Loch Striven as there was no work for them.[3]

A few years after the completion it was discovered that there was a construction error in the insulation of the huge gas-tanks. These LNG carriers store their cargo at near atmospheric pressure and this requires that the gas is cooled down to the boiling temperature of LNG: −162 °C (−260 °F). The cargo was at this temperature when loaded and then the temperature was maintained on this level using very good isolated tanks and slowly let some of the gas vaporize which cools down the cargo. Both ships returned to the shipyard for these repairs and then returned to Lock Striven as there was still no work for them. The tonnage of the ships is 68.122 [2] The building-costs of each ship was approx. €60 million while they were sold in 1991 for approximately €15 million[3] and came in service around 1993.[2]

At the time these ships were the largest ships ever built at the shipyward and they built a special large drydock for this project. After the completion of several large tankers in the 1970s this drydock was never used again until the yard was commissioned to build the new ocean-liner RMS Queen Mary 2 by Cunard.[4]


Gastor was built for the Dutch company Nederlandse Scheepvaart Unie, part of the shipping-company Nedlloyd. (Later Nedlloyd and P&O joined forces and formed P&O Nedlloyd specializing in container shipping until this company was sold to A. P. Moller-Maersk Group or Maersk for short).

The construction-number for the yard was 26 and the (current) IMO number is 7360124[2]

The ship was built to transport LNG from the newly discovered gas-fields in Algeria to the West-European markets via the Dutch port of Delfzijl. Due to economic development at the time and the after effects of the 1973 oil crisis this project never materialized and after completion the ship was laid up in Loch Striven.

LNG Lagos[edit]

In 1993 Gastor was sold and renamed LNG Lagos and finally entered service under the new owner Bonny Gas Transport - Shell Bermuda. The ship carries cargo for that company[2] to and from Nigeria. Before entering service the -now- LNG Lagos was fitted with a new bridge system by Litton Marine services (part of Sperry Marine Northrop Grumman) at the Sobrena shipyard in Brest (now Damen Shipyard).[2]


LNG Port Harcourt at Inverkip Power Station jetty in 1988

Nestor was commissioned by shipping-company Ocean Group from Liverpool. This ship was built to transport gas from Indonesia to the United States but suffered the same fate as Gastor being laid-up in Loch Striven between 1976-1993, except for a quick return to the shipyard in the mid 1980s when a construction/design error was being repaired: the isolation of the main gas tanks was not built according to the design and requirements and the shipyard had to repair that. Nestor had yard-number B26 and the IMO number is 7360136.[5]

LNG Port Harcourt[edit]

Just like Gastor, Nestor was also sold to Shell Bermuda/Bonny Gas Transport and was renamed to LNG Port Harcourt. LNG Port Harcourt is also used for the Shell Nigeria project in Nigeria[5]

See also[edit]

Largest LNG carrier Mozah


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "LNG Lagos (31A487)". Veristar Info. Bureau Veritas. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Helderline website on LNG Lagos, visited 10 December 2010
  3. ^ a b c Short history on Gastor and Nestor Archived 2011-09-10 at the Wayback Machine. om Bluefunnel website
  4. ^ Documentary on Discovery Knowledge Building of the Queen Mary 2 on YouTube]
  5. ^ a b HelderLine website on LNG Port Harcourt, visited 11 December 2010

Coordinates: 55°56′30″N 5°04′56″W / 55.94167°N 5.08222°W / 55.94167; -5.08222