World’s first FLNG project successfully completed performance testing

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been produced onboard a floating facility for the first time in history. The world’s first floating natural gas liquefaction unit (FLNG), the Caribbean FLNG project, has successfully completed performance testing in Nantong, China.

With the average liquefaction process load exceeding 100% during the 72-hour performance test, the flawless performance of the FLNG ensured all design requirements and production capacities were achieved for the unit’s operational effectiveness.

Exmar, a pioneer in floating regasification and floating liquefaction, sees the performance test completion as a major milestone in the company’s floating LNG liquefaction program, said said Nicolas Saverys, Exmar Chief Executive Officer. “It demonstrates our leadership in FLNG solutions, allowing owners of stranded gas reserves to monetize their reserves on a very fast track basis under a build, own, operate basis with Exmar,” he added.

The Caribbean FLNG (CFLNG) project uses Black & Veatch’s patented PRICO Single Mixed Refrigerant (SMR) technology for the single train liquefaction unit, producing 72 million cubic feet a day of LNG (or about 500,000 ton per annum) onboard the non-propelled barge.

The LNG is temporarily stored in on board tanks and can be subsequently offloaded to LNG carriers. Black & Veatch delivered engineering and procurement for the top side liquefaction unit, along with construction support, onsite commissioning and start-up services.

In addition to the design and production capacity of the liquefaction unit, the 72-hour performance test also confirmed the other systems designed by Black & Veatch, including gas treating, boil-off gas handling, and supporting utilities, ensured that the entire FLNG production process worked seamlessly.

Black & Veatch’s PRICO process is a proven solution for making the liquefaction process of natural gas easier, faster, and cost effective. The technology is applied to a variety of industries including rail, trucking, mining and power. Taking from the company’s more than 50 years of LNG experience, the patented technology is modular, scalable and can be applied to multiple types of FLNG configurations.

One of PRICO’s key advantages is its simplified refrigeration system that requires minimal equipment and a compact process that makes it ideal for offshore liquefaction. It also offers low capital and operating expenditure, as well as a simplified control and maintenance process.

According to Senior Vice President of Black & Veatch’s Oil & Gas business, Bob Germinder, the company’s PRICO technology is being applied in more than 30 LNG operations worldwide.The recently completed performance testing proves the first of five Black & Veatch designed FLNG trains in the marketplace.

Germinder added that the results for the Exmar CFLNG project are the outcome of a collaborative effort between Exmar, Wison Offshore & Marine, Black & Veatch and other suppliers.