UK LPG supplier Flogas Britain has begun converting a former LNG facility into what will become the largest LPG storage terminal in the UK
Under a £40M (US$50M) investment, the former National Grid LNG facility at Avonmouth, Bristol will be converted to store 34,564 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to supply commercial and residential customers in the UK.
LPG refers to two gases, propane and butane, which can be converted to liquid form under moderate pressure. LPG is a low carbon fuel which emits 33% less CO2 during combustion than coal and 15% less than heating oil. It also emits no carbon.
LPG is an important source of energy for households and commercial properties that are not connected to the UK’s gas grid network. The UK’s gas grid network extends to 84% of households. Some 16%, about 2M properties, are rural off-grid homes that rely on LPG, according to trade association UKLPG.
LPG can be used for cooking, heating, transport, refrigeration and power generation. LPG has also found increasing acceptance as an alternative fuel in shipping.
The UK’s LPG is sourced from production at six oil refineries or via imports.
Conversion to start 2021
To increase its LPG storage capacity to meet future demand, Flogas Britain has selected Germany’s TGE Gas Engineering GmbH to convert the Avonmouth facility, which was owned by National Grid. Work has begun on the detailed design for the conversion, with physical works expected to start on site in H1 2021, and full takeover planned for 2022.
Once completed, the site will be filled, and operationally ready by H2 2022, further strengthening Flogas’ LPG distribution network.
The project comes at an important time, facilitating the crucial role LPG plays in the Governments’ Clean Growth Strategy, transitioning the UK’s off-grid businesses and homes from high carbon fossil fuels to an excellent low carbon alternative.
The new Avonmouth facility is in line with Flogas’ 2040 vision to build a lower carbon future for off-grid homes and businesses. The site will be ‘bio-ready’ from the outset, capable of storing bioLPG, a chemically-identical, renewable alternative to LPG. As a ‘drop in’ fuel, bioLPG can be blended with or replace LPG without the need for changes to infrastructure, boilers or equipment.
Calling it the company’s largest single investment, Flogas Britain managing director Lee Gannon said the project demonstrates the company’s “unwavering commitment to security of LPG supply and to the Clean Growth Strategy, highlighting the vital role LPG plays in securing a lower carbon future.”
Experienced in building and commissioning LNG and LPG facilities, TGE completed the FEED study during the project development stage and is “delighted that the relationship with Flogas will now continue into the EPC execution phase,” said TGE Gas Engineering chief executive Thomas Wehrheim.
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