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What is regasification of LNG?

For transport over large distances or when pipelines for natural gas are not available, the gas can be transported as liquified natural gas (LNG). Natural gas is commonly transported and stored in liquid state because its volume is decreased about 600 times compared to at gaseous state. By cooling the gas down to approximately -162°C, the gas condensates and becomes liquid. Regasification is the process of converting the gas back to gaseous state by heating the liquified gas.

Regasification process

A regasification plant can use a heat exchanger with sea water as heat medium to increase the heat of the natural gas to change it from liquid to gaseous state. Air vaporizers can also be used where several large fans that push air through heat exchangers to vaporize the LNG. In periods of high demand, regasification might also be accelerated using underwater burners running on natural gas.

Regasification infrastructure

Traditionally, gas would be transferred from the LNG carrier in liquid form to the LNG terminal where the regasification would take place using onshore regasification technology, but floating solutions are becoming increasingly common today. In the following, some of these terminal technologies will be described.

Onshore regasification

At an import terminal with onshore regasification, LNG is received from an LNG carrier and is stored in large onshore tanks and regasified at the import terminal. Alternatively, a floating storage unit (FSU) can be used to store the LNG before regasification onshore. Another solution is to connect an FSU to a regas module placed on the jetty next to the berth. At onshore regasification terminals, air vaporizers and submerged combustion vaporizers have been the most common technologies.

Onshore regasification terminals are sometimes placed in the proximity of power plants or industrial plants so that they can exchange heat to vaporize the LNG with cooling energy for the plants to increase the total efficiency.

Floating storage and regasification

A floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) is a floating terminal with storage and regasification facilities. These units can either be specifically designed for the purpose of storing and regasifying LNG or be modified LNG carriers.

Instead of using one single floating installation, the FSRU, for both storing and regasifying LNG, it is possible to separate these actions and perform them in two separate units. The two components are the floating storage unit (FSU) and the floating regasification unit (FRU), which in total perform the same task as the FSRU. Pipelines or hoses which transfers LNG and excess BOG make out the interface between the two units. This solution can be cheaper than utilizing an FSRU and make a good fit for areas with calm waters.

LNG Vaporizers are heat exchangers used for regasifying liquefied gases which are stored as a liquid under cryogenic temperatures. CIMC produces the following types of vaporisers:

Ambient air heated, both natural as forced draft design

Steam heated

Water heated, both coil in shell as shell in tube design

Gas – or Diesel fired heated

Open Rack Vaporizer

Submerged Combustion Vaporizer

Mobile units based on above technologies

The optimum vaporizer technology for your process depends on local climate, available heating source (cooling water, steam or electrical power), your preference and/or site regulations.

Our sales department is able to assist you with the selection of the best option for your demands.

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