Small & medium scale – LNG offshore units

 

Article by Luis Gabellieri & Alexis Sánchez-AbadíaSENER Ingeniería y Sistemas, S.A. 

 

Focusing on the market: LNG Small and Medium Scale (LNG S&MS) is a recent emerging market where today its potential is still pending to explode in its full dimension. In fact, LNG S&MS is intended to quickly cover the energy needs in local areas, being especially attractive in emerging countries, since they have the capacity to deal with this type of project.

It’s particularly hot in Southeast Asia countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Keeping in mind that these areas add approximately 550m people with relevant growth and a distributed population on a large number of islands. The Caribbean Area and India are too big actors.

Developments: Due to the characteristics of this market, it’s not easy to find a standard solution that meets all the Client’s requirements. However, even with this difficulty, it’s possible to develop a standard floating solution set that in case of a FSRU, a Power Range between 25MW to 600MW are covered. Floating Solutions types are (A good design is based considering LNG logistic supply, storage & regasification capacities and operation onsite):

  • FSRU: Floating Storage Regasification Unit
  • FSU: Floating Storage Unit
  • FRU: Floating Regasification Unit
  • FSRPU: Floating Storage Regasification Power Unit
  • FPU: Floating Power Unit
  • FLNG: Floating Liquefied Natural Gas

Technical description: Typical `Low Cost’ Floating Solution includes:

  • Non propelled barge adapted to shallow waters in coasts/rivers
  • New construction barge type box
  • 25 to 40 years Lifecycle
  • 100% Autonomous (depending utilities provided from operation site: Fresh Water, Nitrogen, Fire Fighting and others)
  • Send out capacity from 0.05 to 3Bcma. Natural Gas Vaporizers (Atmospheric & Intermediate Fluid (Glycol or Propane))
  • Cryogenic line
  • LNG Storage Tanks Capacity from 5,000 to 90,000m3 (IMO Type-C and IMO Type-A)
  • Loading/Unloading Equipment (Arms and Hoses)

Contract modality: Floating Solution (Large Scale), chartering is the common contract. Customer’s perceive this business as a temporary solution because:

  • The shipowner is the supplier. Business unknown for Customers.
  • In general, a FSRU is an old converted LNG carrier. Complex Operation & Maintenance (O&M) that a Customer cannot execute efficiently.

Some figures:

  • 150,000 U$D/d it’s typical chartering of a FSRU (170,000m3/3.2Bcma)
  • 250MM U$D FSRU new construction price

Focusing LNG S&MS Market, due to the accessible prices of New Constructions and less O&M Costs, these projects can be affordable for Customers assuming themselves the O&M. Purchasing is the most attractive Contract Modality.

EPC LSTK Contractor: Considering the previous item, if the EPC Contractor includes in its Scope of Work, Plants O&M and funding for integrated projects: Onshore/Offshore Solutions, Marine Works and Gas Fired Power Plants, the EPC LSTK Contractor reveals itself as the most useful figure delivering to a Client the best solution and price.

Conclusions: LNG Small/Medium Scale, it’s a great potential market focused in Emerging Countries (local population and industry) with geographical difficulties, perfectly integrated in a Virtual Gas Pipeline that allows Low Cost Floating Solution based in a New Construction with 40 years’ lifecycle and less O&M, being Purchasing Contract Modality through EPC LSTK the most interesting solution where the figure of EPC Contractor has a challenge into an Integrated Project.

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Image source: Courtesy of Sener

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