The very concept of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a response to the inefficiency of natural gas pipelines and the technical and economic problems of running pipelines over long distances.
If natural gas is cooled at minus 160.5' C, it becomes liquid and more compact, occupying just 1/600th of the gaseous volume. This is because most of the heavier hydrocarbons are removed during liquefaction.
The cargo that is transported in bulk by sea is predominantly methane (over 80%) - a colourless, odourless, transparent liquid which is non-toxic, non-corrosive and less dense than water. As LNG is highly volatile, specialist operators are involved in its transportation.
A TYPICAL LNG CHAIN
Primary LNG Project / Chain Components are:
- Upstream development of long-term natural gas supply for feed gas to an LNG plant
- Downstream development of liquefaction , storage and loading facilities
- Marine transportation
- Downstream development of receiving terminals for regasification and pipeline transportation to market
Natural Gas is not only efficient, clean, eco-friendly and flexible in control, it meets many of the fuel requirements of modern industrial society. LNG's main applications are:
Electricity generation : Fuel for base load and combined cycle/ co-generation power plants.
Public and commercial : This clean fuel, which is cheaper than LPG, can be used as piped gas for households. In the West, most household consumption is accounted for by piped gas, whose use is increasing rapidly.
Industrial : Industrial : Under boiler fuel for steam raising and heating applications.
Alternative motor fuel to diesel : The use of natural gas as fuel for automobiles is increasing rapidly as it is 30 to 40% more efficient and much cleaner than traditional fossil fuels. With only one carbon and four hydrogen atoms per molecule, it is the most eco-friendly option and is gaining increasing relevance in the age of Global Warming and Climate Change.
Petrochemicals : Several vital chemical products, e.g. methanol, can be derived from natural gas.