Floating factory could change future of LNG

The possible energy future of New England and the nation steamed into the Gulf of Mexico last week and moored 116 miles off New Orleans.

Called Excelsior, the massive red-hulled ship — almost two football fields in length and 15 stories high — is a signature piece in the world’s first offshore liquefied natural gas port, which began operating here last year.

The ship holds enough super-cooled gas in its tanks and labyrinth of gray pipes to heat about 30,000 homes for a year. But the ship’s critical attribute is the ability to turn that liquid back into a vapor at sea and pump it into an underwater pipe that carries the gas to shore.