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Chemical Process Technology

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Chemical & Process Technology

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

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Natural gas is used in industry and household to provide heating energy. It is explored from gas well, treated transported to customer via large and long pipeline. It is become non-cost effective once the pipeline length is exceeded 3000 - 3500 km. Thus, another mode of transportation, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is considered cost effective. Liquefied Natural gas (LNG) is a process of cooling down the natural gas to form liquid for easy storage and transportation.  A LNG is normally contains of Methane (CH4) which is more than 90% and other light hydrocarbon such as Ethane (C2H6), Propane (C3H8), Butane (C4H10) and Nitrogen (N2) inert gas. LNG is non-corrosive, non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, odorless and colorless. However, it is flammable and explosive and create greenhouse effect to environment.
 Following is an simple development milestones for LNG since 19th century

Year Event Remark
19th Century
Michael Faraday, a British Scientist liquefying various gases (including natural gas) in laboratory

1873 Karl Von Linde, a German engineer build 1st practical compressor refrigeration machine in Munich
1912 1st LNG plant is built in West Virginia
1914 1st (U.S.) patent awarded for LNG handling/shipping to Godfrey Cabot
1917 Start operation of 1st LNG plant in West Virginia
1941 1st commercial LNG plant is built in Cleveland, Ohio 2000 tpa
1944 At an LNG peak-shaving plant in Cleveland, an LNG storage tank with a low Nickel steel content (only 3.5%) fails. LNG spills into a sewer. Explosion within the sewer kills 128 people
1959 World 1st LNG tanker "The Methane Pioneer", safely carries LNG from Lake Charles, LA., to Canvey Island, United Kingdom, initiating commercial LNG shipping. 2000 tonnes LNG
1960 Conch International Methane conducts pioneering series of experiments involving small-scale LNG spills on land at Lake Charles, LA for U.S. Bureau of Mines.
1964 1st baseload LNG plant (CAMEL) in Algeria used Technip/Air Liquide's Cascade liquefaction process  (three loops i.e. Propane, Ethylene & Methane) and Steam turbine to drive compressors

The British Gas Council begins importing LNG from Algeria, making the United Kingdom the world's 1st LNG importer and Algeria as its first exporter.
3-trains with capacity of 1 mtpa, located in in Arzew, Algeria
1967 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) adopts its first LNG safety standards, NFPA 59A Standard for the Production, Storage, and Handling of LNG.
1969 1st LNG plant (Kenai, Alaska) used Phillips Cascade liquefaction technology  and 1st to use gas turbine (single shaft)
1st LNG cargoes from Alaska to Japan (world largest LNG importer)
1.5 mtpa in single train
1970 1st LNG plant in Marsa El Brega, Libya used APCI's SMR liquefaction technology 0.75 mtpa per trains
1971 Distrigas Corporation opens an LNG receiving and regasification terminal in Everett, MA.
1972 1st  LNG baseload plant used APCI's C3MR liquefaction technology in BLNG

1st LNG plant used  Technip 's Tealarc two pressure SMR technology in Skikda, Algeria

1st US federal LNG safety regulations adopted, incorporating NFPA 59A standards.
Skikda - 3 trains of 1 mtpa
1986 South Korea receives its 1st LNG shipment (from Indonesia).
1989 1st LNG plant (NWS) adopting Air-Cooling
1990 Taiwan’s 1st LNG terminal receives a shipment from Indonesia.
1991 1st LNG deliveries from Australia’s North West Shelf (NWS) arrive in Japan and South Korea.
1995 1st LNG plant adopting Gas turbine GE Frame 6/7
1999 1st LNG plant in West Hemisphere (Trinidad)
2000 1st peak shaving LNG plant in Pudong, Shanghai, China
2004 The 1st offshore LNG terminal is approved, Port Pelican.

Explosions and fire destroy a portion of the LNG liquefaction plant in Skikda, Algeria, killing 27 people.

20071st LNG plant use Linde's Multi Fluid Cascade Cycle (MFCC) technology (Snohvit, Norway)4.1 mtpa
20091st LNG plant use Shell's DMR technology (Sakhalin, Russia)2 trains of 4.8 mtpa
2011Qatar becomes world largest LNG exporter (using APCI's AP-X technology and gas turbine GE Frame 9E)6 trains of 7.8 mtpa
2015 World 1st Small / Mid scale FLNG expected to comes on stream 1.2 mtpa
2016/17 World 1st Large scale FLNG expected to comes on stream 3.6 mtpa

Sources :
3) "Next Generation Onshore LNG plant design", Marjan et.al
4) "Liquefaction Technology : Developments through History", Paul Bosma et.al. 
5) "Shell and Petronas to race on Floating LNG"

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