Exhibition & Conference

13-16 September 2021

Singapore EXPO, Singapore

Technical Programme

Eric Zielinski

Upstream & LNG Product Manager


17:00 - 17:30

Thursday, 19 September 2019

T1.10 RESERVE: A novel solution for LNG bunkering and fueling

The necessity to adopt strategies to reduce the environmental impact related to marine and road transport makes it necessary to study alternatives to traditional liquid fuels.
Replacement of fuel oil and diesel by LNG is a strategy widely encouraged by authorities and operators worldwide.
Off-grid users, such as communities and small industries located in remote areas, will also have their share in the small scale LNG distribution demand.

LNG can be traditionally sourced from existing import or export terminals, requiring minor modifications, namely truck loading facilities.
However, for many areas in the world not equipped with such infrastructures, the question of how to supply the LNG becomes crucial.

Liquefying pipeline natural gas is definitely an interesting strategy, but the capital expenditure associated to liquefaction facilities becomes quickly critical.
Indeed, the large LNG trains developed previously used the economy of scale to make the investment in such projects profitable.
On the contrary, small scale LNG projects such as those required for LNG local distribution must follow a radically different path, where standardization, modularization, quick-to-the-market solutions are of the essence.

Saipem recently developed a novel solution dedicated to the small scale natural gas liquefaction market.
This solution consists in a pre-engineered pipeline gas purification and liquefaction plant, having a typical capacity of 250,000 TPA, responding to that particular market need.
This solution can be implemented in ports, where a nearby natural gas pipeline is available, and would be used as a small hub producing and distributing LNG through a ship bunkering station and truck loading points. This would avoid significant maritime infrastructures investments to accommodate large LNG carriers, with the associated severe permitting constraints.

This plant is pre-engineered and delivered in modules, minimizing the integration work to be done on site, and thus  the total project cost and duration.
Pipeline gas is normally already treated for transport, hence reducing the processing necessary prior to its liquefaction compared to a raw gas.
The gas purification sequence will involve removal of carbon dioxide, water and small amounts of heavy hydrocarbons. Molecular sieves bed allowing simultaneously to scrub traces of aromatics that can affect the proper operation of the cryogenic section, and removal of water are implemented.
The liquefaction is performed by a Saipem proprietary technology, a compact solution involving no liquid refrigerant, flexible towards gas composition variation and simple to operate. Different drivers and selection strategies are available to meet specific site requirements.
All supporting utilities, such as air, nitrogen, water can be produced within the  plant.
The produced LNG is stored in an atmospheric tank, allowing to fuel several ships a day, or alternatively in vacuum insulated cryogenic bullets.

Saipem will present the main features of this solution, including the technological most salient aspects, the estimated project cost, and a typical execution plan.