With the approval of a wide range of valves for use in gas-fuelled ships by the certification body Det Norske Veritas (DNV), HEROSE has taken a decisive step in the new and promising field of business associated with LNG (Liquified Natural Gas).
HEROSE Manager Dirk Zschalich: “We are confident that the other certification bodies will follow suit and then we will really be able to get going.” By 2016 not only Europe’s inland waterway ship owners will be forced to convert their engines due to more stringent exhaust gas regulations – ship owners on the Baltic are also faced with a similar situation. As of 2015 the limiting value for sulphur there will be 0.1 percent for ship fuels. This will dramatically increase the price of conventional fuels so that by then at the latest, LNG will become an attractive alternative.
In order to ensure the supply of LNG, the corresponding import terminals are planned on the Baltic. The first terminal, in Nynäshamn, 60 kilometres south of Stockholm, was designed and constructed by the Linde subsidiary Cryo AB in Gothenburg. Cryo AB is one of the world’s leading suppliers of everything associated with LNG: construction of tanks and trailers as well as the planning of LNG plants – and is one of HEROSE’s biggest customers in Scandinavia. The project supervisor in Nynäshamn was Lars Persson, who now works as a manager for Cryo AB. The fact that the order volume of the Linde subsidiary has greatly increased just recently is also shown by the company’s relocation to a much larger administration building in Gothenburg.
The terminal, which will be inaugurated in May 2011, will be operated by AGA – a further Linde subsidiary. At present the terminal will only be used to supply customers on land, however fuelling of LNG ships is also planned – as soon as there are any.
The heart of the plant is a round concrete tank with a diameter of almost 36 metres and a similar height. “Here we can store about 20,000 cubic metres of LNG”, says Lars Laurell, Terminal Manager in Nynäshamn. This corresponds to about twelve million cubic metres of gas, as each cubic metre of liquid expands to 600 times its volume when it changes to the gaseous state. Highly refrigerated at minus 162 degrees Celsius, the liquefied gas is transferred to road tankers and brought directly to the customer or to the connection point of an existing gas network. There, it is carefully re-heated in Linde regasification plants and then distributed as natural gas.
The terminal operates completely automatically and the tanker drivers fill the LNG into their trailers themselves. Many HEROSE valves were used in the construction of the terminal. Sales Manager Volker Maass: “Primarily these were type 01841 and 01843 FireSafe valves, both with and without actuators, whose areas of application include the landing area, the pipe network and the regasification plant.”
In the area around Stockholm, transportation of liquid gas is not only the most economical method – there is also no competition, as there are no appropriate pipelines. With regard to this, Trond Jerve, LNG Manager from AGA, stated in the Linde customer newsletter: “In principle, transportation which is independent of pipelines is becoming increasingly important. Throughout the world, more than ten percent of natural gas is transported as LNG – and this tendency is increasing.”
Because of this, AGA has firm plans for the construction of a second storage facility. “The terminal in Nynäshamn will then be one of the Small Scale Terminals”, says Jerve. Although at present these smaller plants are still the outsiders among the 70 LNG terminals throughout the world, however they have the great advantage that they can be installed close to industrial areas or cities – so that there is only a short distance to the customers. For example, customers of the AGA terminal in Nynäshamn include the neighbouring Nynas oil refinery. The refinery needs hydrogen for the processing of mineral oil, and it now produces this from natural gas instead of from raw petrol. This conversion has enabled a considerable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The utility company Stockholm Gas, which is also involved with the terminal, intends to save 50,000 tons per year. Taxis and buses in Stockholm use LNG from Nynäshamn.
Linde ensures its own LNG supply: The liquefied natural gas mainly comes from a modern and especially energyefficient natural gas liquefaction plant in Stavanger in Norway, which the Linde Engineering Division constructed for Skangas AS. The plant has been in operation since the end of 2010. From there, LNG tankers such as the ‘Coral Methane’ from the Dutch shipping company Anthony Veder supply 7,500 cubic metres of gas to Nynäshamn every three weeks. It is planned to double this volume from 2013. “With this LNG plant, which produces 300,000 tons per year, we have further strengthened our leading position for medium size LNG production”, says Linde Project Manager Dr. Erich Ettinger.
With natural gas it is not only possible to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by about 30 percent, in comparison with petrol or oil the emission of pollutants is also considerably lower. About 90 percent less sulphur and 80 percent less nitrous oxides are produced during the combustion of natural gas. As well as this, no heavy metals or soot particles are released.
Photo: Carsten Wurr