Demonstrating the viability of small scale LNG terminals (TIA)

The project was intended to create small scale LNG infrastructure and establish the port of Klaipeda as an LNG hub for the Baltic region and northeastern Poland by creating a single value chain from LNG delivered from a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU).

Paul Shields
Chart Industries

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Article Summary

The facility at Klaipeda in Lithuania is the latest to demonstrate the economic and technological viability of small scale LNG storage and distribution (see Figure 1). Although unable to provide the same economies of scale of the megaterminals, such as those in Rotterdam and Barcelona, which have daily LNG volumes measured in hundreds of thousands of cubic metres, small-scale terminals can be built at a fraction of the cost, within a much shorter time frame and provide operational flexibility. This creates an attractive business model for terminal operators and owners to quickly address the growing demand for LNG as a fuel for transportation and energy and take advantage of new supply, particularly North American shale.

LNG off-loaded and stored at Klaipeda can be decanted into road tankers for onward distribution to off-grid users. It is utilised for ship fuelling, bunkering, and is vaporised as a source of energy for local community usage. Catering for all eventualities enables the terminal to make best use of landed LNG and immediately respond to fluctuations in application demand.

Equipment standardisation and modularisation
The cryogenic section of the terminal comprises five identical horizontal vacuum insulated, storage tanks, each with a capacity of 1000m³, 5 + 5 ambient air vaporisers for gas delivery, twin trailer loading bays, four cryogenic submerged pumps for truck filling and bunkering, interconnecting pipework, emergency flare and all associated control and safety systems.

All equipment is shop built with standard production techniques already proven in the field, which minimises engineering and production costs, schedule and risk.

Standardisation and modularisation (design it once and duplicate manufacture) is another crucial element in the reduction of cost and schedule. Each of the shop built cryogenic storage tanks is much smaller than a site built alternative, which means far less site work, civils and permitting. Modularisation also means that the planned facility expansion, doubling the storage capacity from the current 5000m³ to 10000m³, is already built into the base design.

Chart Industries provided single point accountability for project execution. The project also highlights the value of close collaboration between partners to minimise cost and schedule in ensuring timely completion according to budget. Essentially, each stakeholder focused on their area of expertise, but through close collaboration duplicated engineering effort was avoided and the project optimised as a whole, rather than by section.

• Establish the port of Klaipeda as a regional LNG hub
• Demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of small scale LNG
• Multifunctional terminal with operational flexibility
• Shop built, standard, field proven equipment for reduced cost, schedule and risk
• Modularisation reduces logistics and time at site
• Base design incorporates a planned expansion that doubles storage capacity.

This short case study originally appeared in PTQ's Technology In Action feature - Q2 2019 issue.

For more information: paul.shields@chartindustries.com

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