Clean LNG Picks Up Where Renewable Energy Is Leaving Off

The world must reduce polluting emissions to maintain our planet; a planet fit for future generations to not just survive … but thrive. One answer is to replace our current mainstream energy source by renewable energy, like solar or wind.

But it’s not realistic to sustain our current life style, economic growth and development of emerging nations by deploying renewable energy alone. This is where clean Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) comes in, offering the best solution when compared to other energy sources.

An excellent article by Dilip P, an expert in engineering and project management of LNG projects, and consultant at Consult 2050.

Renewable Energy

The availability of renewable energy from wind or sunlight is limited due to the unavoidable variations in weather conditions. As a result, supply and demand for power are difficult to match, particularly at peak demand. Surplus electrical energy from renewables using battery technology has constraints of in terms of cost and storage capacity. And transmission of electricity over long distances is economically feasible only up to hundreds of kilometres. LNG on the other hand can be safely stored and economically shipped across thousands of kilometres.

The current trend to reduce harmful emissions from cars is to move from diesel and petrol vehicles to electric motor driven vehicles with a rechargeable lithium battery. Unfortunately, recharging these batteries requires significant electrical power, which will necessitate additional power generation capacity in the next decade. This increase in electricity generating capacity will most likely be only met by renewable energy, LNG and other fossil fuels together.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

When clean natural gas is cooled to minus 160 degrees C, it reduces in volume by 600 times and turns in to liquid, which is called LNG. In its liquid form it offers huge flexibility to store and transport a large volume of energy, which then can be utilised as a fuel after vaporising it back to natural gas.

LNG in vaporised form can be used as a fuel; to produce electricity, for domestic heating and cooking, cars, buses, trucks and marine fuel for ships. Furthermore, due to a fall in oil prices, the market price of LNG has come down by 50 to 60 percent. This makes LNG a very attractive and economical fuel.

The world has adequate reserves of natural gas to last over 50 years. Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide when used as a fuel in a new, efficient power plant compared with emissions from a typical new coal fired power plant. Technologies for liquefying natural gas to liquid at minus 160 degree C and transporting it across the globe are now mature and readily available.

Since LNG must be maintained at such low temperatures for storage and transport, production, transmission, storage and vaporisation requires specialist technical knowledge and experience. The LNG plants and ships are highly capital intensive.

LNG Value Chain

The LNG value chain includes the following elements:

  • Exploration and production of gas and liquids
  • Gas treatment and a processing plant
  • A gas liquefaction plant to convert gas to LNG
  • LNG shipping from export to import terminal
  • LNG receiving, storage and vaporisation plant/terminal

Each of these elements require specialized skills and expertise to maximise value from LNG and avoid costly mistakes.

LNG Expertise

At Consult 2050, we have the capability to provide knowledge and advice for natural gas and LNG from concept to realisation of plants and pipelines. Our consultants have in depth knowledge and experience in designing and building LNG plants from feasibility to commissioning stages.

The expertise includes different aspects of management from; strategy, planning, technology selection, engineering, material and equipment selection to project, contracting, procurement, safety and quality management.

For more information about consultants with LNG expertise, please contact [email protected]

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