OVER THE PAST decades, rapidly growing energy demands have let for an expanding market for LNG.
Exploiting remote isolated gas fields offshore has become the latest trend in the LNG industry. Following the path of the FPSO development, recent progress has been made towards floating LNG production units. F-LNG vessels enable the commercially viable exploitation of stranded-gas reserves of a mere 1 tcf or less. Mounted on converted tankers or custom-designed hulls, these floating liquefaction plants have to meet intrinsically different requirements compared to land-borne plants. Major issues include footprint, maintainability of liquefaction trains under rough sea conditions, and a number of special safety regulations. Backed by vast offshore expertise in compression, drive and power-generation technologies, Siemens developed a range of solutions suited for an on-board installation. From steam- and gas-turbine driven solutions to small-footprint all-electric E-LNG schemes, they are engineered to ensure high availability and high reliability, while allowing operators to optimize efficiency, CAPEX and OPEX. As market leader for steam turbines, Siemens is developing solutions to use steam turbines as compressor drive in the liquefaction of natural gas at sea. Because it is important to minimise the time it takes to equip the ships in the dockyard, the on-board supporting base construction will ensure stability, the company says. Particular importance is attached to the materials exposed to the salty air.
Using waste heat recovery and hybrid schemes to reduce emissions, Siemens’ all-electric E-LNG concept takes variable-speed drive systems (VSDS), the availability of electric motors, and a minimum of five years of continuous operation of compressor trains. On top of its compression and drive solutions, Siemens F-LNG portfolio comprises field instrumentation and analytics, automation, power generation, transmission, and distribution.