Since I last touched on this subject at the end of last year, the LNG industry continues to grow rapidly with its new use in the propulsion of ships in the Nordic Region and the continued increase in production from the shale gas fields of North America.

With this in mind I recently took part in the 2nd Annual Shipping Forum in London, a very interesting listen considering the presentations from many experts in different LNG fields. At the event the shipping industry voiced concern about the safe use of LNG, especially in view of these new applications. As these include ship fuelling, bunkering, vehicle fuelling and other uses, perhaps this highlights the need to ask where the safety responsibility lies – as one incident could damage the perfect record held by shipping industry.

Although each company takes its safety responsibility seriously to ensure correct component specifications, we still see different selections globally. In view of this, perhaps there is a need for the users (or the industries) to develop global standards for these new projects and consider whether these projects lie within the oil & gas, shipping or industrial gas sectors.

At the event each sector had some strong messages to get across on the safe use of LNG.

A forum introduction stated that for over 45 years the LNG shipping industry has operated safely while transferring and distributing LNG globally. During this time the shipping sector has been safely regulated and this perfect record has given the industry its licence to operate.

The major oil and gas companies, who have vested interests in the shipping of LNG, the sale of it and its use in energy fields, described it as the ‘fuel of the future’. It was stated that today there are many countries starting to use LNG for local energy generation and that requires distribution and storage in populated cities.
LNG will continue to grow as an energy fuel in cities, as has been seen in Beijing, which has already taken the decision to change from fossil fuels to have a cleaner environment. Others will follow suit.

With over 250 years of reserves at today’s usage rate, natural gas is required to meet the demands expected from over two billion people that will be added to the world’s population by 2050.

The shipping companies themselves discussed the demands on their existing fleets, despite the slowdown during the last three years. They indicated that they expect the global requirements to create the need to increase their fleet size over the next 5-10 years.
It was also pointed out that the small to mid-scale plants that populate China are growing in numbers in the project listings, with industrial gas companies seeing major opportunities in these fields.

Meanwhile an inspection agency completed a very enlightened presentation on the standards required in certifying the safety of the new processes in ship fuelling and bunkering.

From our perspective at Herose, we are seeing that the equipment manufacturers from the industrial gas sector have picked up the challenge in manufacturing the cryogenic equipment for plants, shipping, trailers and necessary storage vessels – and they are increasingly aware that valve selection is critical.
When selecting equipment you must consider valve types, valve closing times and fire-safe options to ensure the protection of your plant and personnel to ensure the industry is safely regulated.

 

Published On: March 25th, 2013 / Categories: Company /