Gas Processing News
Shell says more LNG is needed to satisfy future demand
In its annual LNG outlook, Shell announced that additional LNG supplies will be needed to satisfy increasing natural gas demand, especially for Asia. According to the report, global LNG trade increased 6% in 2021 to 380 MMt. The U.S. led in LNG export market growth, increasing trade by 24 MMtpy year-over-year. On the demand side, China and South Korea increased LNG imports the most in 2021—China boosted LNG imports by 12 MMt in 2021 to nearly 80 MMt. Shell forecasts that global LNG demand will nearly double to 700 MMtpy by 2040.
Sempra signs deal for Mexican LNG projects
Sempra Energy’s subsidiary, Sempra Infrastructure, signed an infrastructure deal with Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission to develop various projects in the country. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) includes the construction of the 4-MMtpy Vista Pacifico LNG terminal in Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico; an LNG regasification terminal in La Paz, Baja California Sur; and the reinstatement of the 510-MMft3d Guaymas-El Oro pipeline in Sonora. The LNG terminals will use natural gas feedstock imported from U.S. shale production.
Air Liquide to build largest biomethane production unit in the U.S.
Air Liquide plans to build a 380-GWh/yr biomethane plant in Rockford, Illinois. The facility will use biogas from Waste Connections Inc.’s solid waste treatment plant. The plant is scheduled to begin operations in late 2023. Air Liquide is also building a similar plant in Delavan, Wisconsin. That facility is expected to begin operations in 2Q of this year. Both projects will use Air Liquide’s proprietary membrane technology, along with a complementary technology developed by Waga Energy. Once operational, these plants will increase Air Liquide’s biomethane production capacity to 1.8 TWh/yr.
Contract issued for construction of two natural gas power plants
Comisión Federal de Electricidad has awarded a few contracts for the construction of two natural gas combined-cycle plants.
The 600-MW plants will be built in San Luis Rio Colorado and González Ortega, Mexico. The two plants will be built by Tecnicas Reunidas and TSK. The contract includes engineering, construction and commissioning of the two plants; Siemens Energy is supplying turbine technology for the facilities.
Both plants are scheduled to start operations in mid-2025. Once operational, the natural gas-fired plants will help Mexico decarbonize its domestic electricity sector, mitigating the use of heavy liquid fuels for power generation.
Germany speeds up LNG terminal build to wean off Russian gas
To help diversify natural gas imports, Germany has planned to develop three LNG import terminals. The country now relies heavily on piped natural gas from countries like the Netherlands, Norway and Russia—according to bp’s Statistical Review of World Energy, Russia accounted for 56% of Germany’s piped natural gas imports in 2020. However, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany decided to not certify the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and speed up plans for the construction of new domestic LNG import capacity.
Over the past few years, Germany has announced three new LNG import terminals. These projects include:
- The 8-Bm3y German LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel
- The 12-Bm3y Hanseatic Energy Hub in Stade
- The 10-Bm3y floating terminal in Wilhelmshaven.
At the time of this publication, Germany has approved the construction of the Brunsbüttel LNG terminal. The Brunsbüttel terminal was originally scheduled to begin operations this year but was delayed. Due to the events in the Ukraine, the terminal’s approval process is being expedited, with construction to begin immediately.
Portovaya LNG terminal to begin operations by 2023
Gazprom announced that the long-delayed Portovaya LNG terminal project will, most likely, be completed by the end of the year. However, at the time of this publication, it is unclear if Gazprom will delay the start of operations due to Russia’s war with Ukraine. The conflict has resulted in several countries banning Russian energy supplies, including LNG shipments. With most of Europe closed to Russian LNG exports, it is unclear what the country will do regarding the start of the Portovaya LNG terminal. The 1.5-MMtpy terminal, located close to the Russia-Finland border, was originally scheduled to be completed in 2019; however, the project has been repeatedly delayed. The terminal is being built by Peton. The company was awarded a $1.62-B engineering, procurement and construction contract in 2016. Once completed, the LNG terminal will provide Gazprom an alternative LNG supply route to Europe, as well as provide natural gas to local customers and vessel bunkering.
Sound Energy to build micro-LNG terminal in eastern Morocco
To monetize natural gas production operations in the Tendara field, Sound Energy is planning to develop a micro-LNG plant in eastern Morocco. The gas processing and liquefaction plant will be designed, constructed, commissioned, operated and maintained by Italfluid Geoenergy Srl. First gas is expected to be delivered to the Moroccan market in early 2024—Sound Energy has signed a 10-yr take or pay deal with Afriquia Gaz.
Hanas receives approval to build new LNG terminal in Fujian
Hanas Group has received approval to build a new $830-MM LNG import terminal in Fujian province, China. The 5.65-MMtpy terminal will be in Meizhouwan port and contain one berth and two 200,000-m3 storage tanks.
Tema LNG commercial operations to begin in 2Q
Ghana National Petroleum Corp. announced that the Tema LNG terminal is scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2Q. The terminal will use a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) vessel to import natural gas, which will be used for domestic electricity generation. Ghana plans to use the import terminal as a natural gas hub for West Africa.
Mexico Pacific LNG to double LNG terminal capacity
After securing MoUs from various offtakers, Mexico Pacific LNG announced it plans to double the facility’s production capacity to 28 MMtpy. Located in Puerto Libertad, Mexico, the terminal will consist of six LNG liquefaction trains. At the time of this publication, the developer was working on converting the MoUs to binding offtake agreements. Mexico Pacific LNG plans to produce first LNG in 2H 2025.
Yancheng port LNG terminal to build six giant LNG storage tanks
China National Offshore Oil Co. (CNOOC) announced it will complete construction on six large-scale LNG storage tanks by 2024. The 270,000-m3 tanks are being installed at the 6-MMtpy LNG terminal being built at Yancheng port in Jiangsu province, China. Once completed, CNOOC will be the third LNG operator in the province—PetroChina and Guanghui Energy each operate LNG terminals in Jiangsu.
Sorgenia and Iren to build new LNG terminal in southern Italy
To wean off imported Russian natural gas, two Italian energy groups—Sorgenia and Iren—are planning to expedite the construction of a new LNG import terminal in southern Italy. The 12-Bm3y, located in the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro, would cover nearly half of gas imports from Russia.
The project’s permitting process was completed several years ago; however, the development of the facility has been on hold. If built, the project’s developers announced that operations could begin within 3 yr.
In another move to cut off Italy’s dealings with Russia, Italy placed a hold on its share of financing for Russia’s $21-B Arctic LNG 2 project. Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the capital-intensive LNG export project was scheduled to launch in 2023 and reach full production capacity (nearly 20 MMtpy) in 2026.
Petronet to boost LNG import capacity
According to various news reports, Petronet LNG plans to add 9 MMtpy of LNG import capacity over the next 4 yr–5 yr. The company is increasing LNG import capacity by 5 MMtpy at its Dahej facility on India’s west coast, as well as installing a 4-MMtpy FSRU in Gopalpur on the country’s east coast. The Dahej terminal expansion will include the construction of a new jetty to import both LNG and propane. The propane will be used for a $1.6-B polypropylene plant to be built in Dahej. The additional LNG import capacity will help Petronet satisfy increasing demand for natural gas in India.
TotalEnergies to restart work on Mozambique LNG
In February, TotalEnergies Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Pouyanne, announced the company plans to restart work on the $20-B Mozambique LNG terminal project later this year. The capital-intensive project was halted in 2021 due to insurgent attacks, leading Mozambique to import foreign troops from nearby African countries to protect workers and infrastructure. TotalEnergies plans to restart work on the project this year, with first natural gas in 2024.
Venture Global selects Honeywell technologies for LNG pretreatment
Honeywell announced that Venture Global LNG will use a series of technologies from Honeywell UOP to remove various contaminants from natural gas to applicable LNG specification prior to liquefaction at its Plaquemines LNG export facility in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.
Honeywell UOP will provide engineering, procurement and fabrication services for the LNG pretreatment units which, when completed, will pretreat feed gas for the facility, which will produce LNG for export to markets in Asia, Europe and other locations.
The project will include a Honeywell UOP mercury removal unit and multiple trains each consisting of an acid gas removal unit and SeparSIV unit. Taken together, these modular units will remove mercury, CO2, sulfur, water and heavy hydrocarbons to applicable LNG specification from 1.6 Bsft3d of natural gas so it can be liquefied and safely transported to customers on ocean-going vessels.
The Plaquemines LNG terminal is located on a 630-acre site on the Mississippi River approximately 20 mi south of New Orleans, Louisiana (U.S.). according to Venture Global, the facility will have a total of thirty-six 626,000 tpy liquefaction trains in 18 blocks. The facility will include up to six pretreatment trains, three ship loading berths for LNG vessels carrying a capacity of up to 185,000 m3, up to four 200,000-m3 full containment LNG storage tanks, two 720-MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plants and additional infrastructure.
Cedar LNG commences FEED work
The Haisla Nation in partnership with Pembina Pipeline Corp. have awarded a FEED contract to Black and Veatch for the company’s Cedar LNG project in Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada. Black and Veatch will work with Samsung Heavy Industries to provide an integrated solution for the floating LNG vessel.
Black and Veatch is responsible for the topside process plant, which includes the company’s patented PRICO liquefaction technology. Samsung Heavy Industries is responsible for the hull and LNG containment system, along with integration of topsides, while also fabricating topsides modules designed by Black and Veatch.
FEED work is expected to conclude by the end of the year. Cedar LNG plans to begin operations in 2H 2027.
GNL Quebec’s LNG project suffers another setback
In February, GNL Quebec’s Energie Saguenay LNG terminal project was blocked by the Ottawa government. According to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’s (IAAC) environmental report, the project would increase greenhouse gas emissions, have a negative effect on the nearby Innu communities and pose a significant risk to marine mammals in the St. Lawrence river.
Most likely, the IACC report is the final nail in the coffin for the project. The $14-B, 11-MMtpy LNG terminal has received significant opposition from indigenous communities and the local population.
Cheniere to start operations on Sabine Pass LNG Train 6
In early February, Bechtel passed custody and control of Sabine Pass LNG Train 6 to Cheniere. According to news reports, Train 6 has been commissioned and is set for commercial operations in Q2. Once operational, Sabine Pass LNG—located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana—will have a total LNG production capacity of 30 MMtpy. GP