Natural gas being an alternative that emits less carbon dioxide, its popularity is increasing with the energy transition.
To meet this increase in demand, players already in the market need to increase their capacity quickly, and small or new players will also want flexibility with relatively low risk. Floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) have been developed to meet these needs.
Natural gas liquefied by cooling is transported on specially built LNG tankers. It must then be regasified to be used at its destination. This regasification can be done by unloading the gas at an onshore terminal or, alternatively, at sea to a specially designed vessel or converted LNG carrier, called a floating storage and regasification unit or “FSRU”.
How do FSRUs work?
FSRUs have been developed to meet the increased need for LNG and provide a fast import solution.
Permanently moored near the shore, the FSRUs receive the LNG transferred by the tankers via flexible cryogenic pipes for storage and regasification before delivery.
The floating storage regasification unit can be equipped in two ways :
– Either it is installed as a separate unit on board the LNG carrier itself.
– Or an LNG carrier can be converted into an independent unit placed in a particular destination as an offshore installation
Benefits of FSRUs
Compared to a land-based regasification solution, floating units are more flexible and responsive to customer needs.
Cost-effective : in most cases, a floating regasification unit is less expensive to develop than a traditional land-based solution.
Time savings: a floating solution can be implemented in one to three years compared to a land-based terminal that typically takes four to six years to develop.
Minimum footprint : A dockside or offshore regasification facility requires less land use than an onshore terminal, minimizing its environmental impact.
Small-scale LNG solutions
In addition to providing regasification services, FSRUs can serve as hubs for small-scale LNG deliveries. In this way, the FSRU acts as a central hub for storing LNG before unloading it in small quantities to trucks, trains or small-scale LNG carriers to distribute the LNG to nearby consumption points.
Small-scale LNG offers an effective solution for supplying natural gas to consumers who, due to geographic conditions or low demand, do not have access to pipeline systems.
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