Small-scale LNG – Evolving, evolved, or on the crest of a wave?

Small-scale LNG – Evolving, evolved, or on the crest of a wave?

Small-scale LNG – Evolving, evolved, or on the crest of a wave?

Just two years ago the demand for LNG was almost unsustainable as new energy applications were being developed and the price against oil was favourable for this alternative energy source. This expansion of use led to liquefaction shortfalls in the Americas and other regions, while the equipment manufacturers were seeing vast increases in volumes.

During this period industry leaders were all were shouting about the environmental benefits, while also mentioning the financial gains this energy source offered. Today, market developments have changed mainly as the result of the fall in the oil price and it is more difficult for the LNG providers to sell this energy source for new applications. With the other energy source available at most street corners, potential customers do not have to invest in the capital required to switch to LNG.

Despite this, the LNG markets remain stable in many regions of the globe, with Japan and South Korea using almost 50% of the LNG produced today, while China continues to increase its use of LNG as an energy source. Some of the major cities in China are still building major shaving stations, with over 10,000m3 storage capacity. This development of use in China is supported by the development of increased terminal capacity in the Shanghai area.

Legislation in North America, the need for more powerful vehicle engines, and the fall in the oil price are not favourable right now when it comes to investment in LNG projects. These factors aside, it is expected that global use of LNG will increase by 40% over the next four years. This growth will come from the development of offshore gas fields, in addition to the continuing need in cities for a cleaner environment.

Today, the shipping industry is being challenged by legislation to use the cleaner fuels in harbours and waterways where the environment is affected by the use of fossil fuels. In this area the market is seeing real growth with the release of capital projects for the use of LNG as an alternative fuel source. Today, the industrial gas equipment manufacturers are benefiting in the supply of Engineered Packaged Orders for the fuelling – or duel fuelling – of ships and barges globally.

It is for these critical fire-safe applications that Herose has secured major shipping orders for complete valve packages in Europe and Asia. This includes manual valves, actuated valves, control valves and safety valves in full stainless steel that are fitted in the valve box as part of the LNG vessel.

Herose’s global presence and its close work with the international classification societies has allowed the company to become a major supplier for these LNG fuelling applications.