Exhibition & Conference

13-16 September 2021

Singapore EXPO, Singapore

Technical Programme

Joseph Voda

Commercial Development Manager - LNG

Air Products Chemicals Inc.

14:00 - 14:30

Thursday, 19 September 2019

T1.10 Small-Scale LNG:Innovations to Reduce Cost and Schedule

Designing, engineering and constructing small-scale LNG (ssLNG) facilities, approximately 100 - 500 TPD capacity, presents many of the same challenges as large LNG export projects.  In addition to typical technical challenges, ssLNG projects must also be completed within budget and on schedule to be successful. Increased interest in LNG for transportation, peak shaving, power generation and marine fuel is expected to grow the ssLNG market significantly over the next decade. In order for ssLNG to remain competitive with the larger export facilities and supply these markets, innovations to reduce cost and schedule are required.  

A low capex solution with accelerated project schedule is often the main objective for ssLNG developers to control project risk and achieve a quicker return on investment. Consolidating a diverse amount of technical and project related information from the sale of 2,000 cryogenic plants and operation of over 300 cryogenic facilities provides a significant repository of data, which can be used to improve ssLNG equipment offerings to achieve these objectives. This experience demonstrates that increased standardization enhances constructability, shortens schedule and reduces project risks. Through the evaluation of project data effective standardization is achieved, which results in a reduction in engineering hours and the development of improved sourcing strategies. Additionally, standardization of the equipment offerings decreases engineering efforts allowing for earlier equipment purchases of off-the-shelf vendor offerings leading to a reduction of cost and schedule. However, site specific conditions such as feed gas composition, pressure, and available cooling medium and temperature must also be factored into the basis of design so that the benefits of standardization are maximized.

 Realizing the full benefit of standardization requires the development of a comprehensive execution strategy including engineering, procurement and construction.  This strategy has been proven to result in reduced handoffs, improved plot utilization and fewer interfaces among the various entities leading to more efficient execution and lower project risk.

In conjunction with innovative project execution strategies, ssLNG process technology studies lead to equipment and technology advancements enabling standardization while also improving OPEX. For example, blending methane into the nitrogen refrigerant can help increase process efficiency significantly and expands the liquefaction capacity range for a given standardized heat exchanger design.  Alternatively, using methane as the Brayton cycle refrigerant can eliminate the need for a nitrogen generation and storage system altogether.  Customer feedback indicates that developers are exploring increased asset utilization elevating the importance of process efficiency.

This paper will provide a comparison of ssLNG process solutions, explain how experience from the design and operation of over 300 cryogenic plants provides data to develop improved standardized products and highlight the importance of developing an integrated approach that simultaneously leverages technology and construction advancements. Several examples demonstrating the benefits will be presented.