Converted LNG carriers will underpin critical power infrastructure for projects in Africa and South America
Two 25-year-old LNG carriers and one newly built gas carrier will find new lives supporting gas-to-power projects, following conversions and modifications at Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine Repairs & Upgrades Pte. All three of the ship repair projects will be completed between the end of this year and February 2020 at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard. Capable of drydocking some of the largest ships in the world, Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard has five docks, with capacities from 65,000 to 400,000 deadweight tonnes. Its dust-controlled cryogenic workshops and deep and sheltered berths – with draughts between 11 and 15 m – facilitate repairs and conversions of LNG carriers.
One of the LNG vessels currently in the yard is Dwiputra, a 125,000-m3 LNG carrier built in 1994 at Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, which is undergoing conversion to a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU). The vessel will support an innovative gas-to-power project in Mozambique. It is one of three new gas carrier conversion projects announced in September that were added to the Singapore shipyard’s backlog.
Dwiputra is owned by Pacific LNG Transportation Ltd and managed by PT Humolco LNG Indonesia. Deployed in the Indonesia-to-Japan LNG trade, Dwiputra has an overall length of 272 m, beam of 47.2 m, depth of 26.5 m and design draught of 11.6 m, with four Moss Rosenberg spherical tanks.
Karmol, a joint venture formed earlier this year between Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Turkey’s Karpowership International, will carry out the gas-to-power project in Mozambique. The FSRU will deliver regasified LNG to the Powership – its brand name for floating power stations – to produce electricity for the grid for Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), the Mozambican national power utility. It is the first LNG-to-Powership project announced under the joint venture.
The Powership is currently operating on heavy fuel oil in Nacala, but under an agreement with EDM, will switch to cleaner burning regasified LNG after the FSRU is delivered.
Karpowership International owns a fleet of 20 Powerships that are used to supply power to the grid in Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Ghana and Gambia. Karpowership’s first vessel was the Liberia-flagged Powership, a dry cargo ship built by Mitsui in 1983 and converted in 2010 to a floating power plant. Powership was used to supply power to the grid in southeastern Iraq.
MOL said the regasified LNG supplied by the FSRU to the Powership would provide reliable electricity to shore grids and facilities, where base-load electricity or replacements of fuel mode are required to meet environmental concerns.
The Karmol collaboration offers several operational and environmental advantages, say the partners. One is a competitive initial capex construction cost and fast-track, turnkey solution to provide LNG to create immediate savings for customers and meet power demand.
A second advantage is reducing greenhouse gases by replacing more carbon-intensive fuels with LNG.
"This project contributes to our national strategy of increasing the availability and reducing the costs of fuel to generate electricity for industrial development and energy access,” says Mozambique minister of mineral resources and energy Max Tonela. “This project does it through LNG, a critical fuel for Mozambique’s future."
Rapid economic growth in Mozambique has increased the need for stable and affordable electricity. Part of that electricity demand will be met by Karmol’s LNG-to-Powership solution, generating about 120 MW of power. When completed, the project will be the first LNG-to-power solution and FSRU project in eastern and southern Africa.
Sembcorp Marine is also converting NYK Line’s former gas carrier LNG Flora into a 127,000-m3 floating storage unit (FSU) for midscale LNG infrastructure company Gasfin Development SA in support of the Tema LNG project in Ghana. Paired with a barge-based FRU, the FSU will be permanently moored in the port of Tema.
Built in 1993 by Japan’s Kawasaki Sakaide Works, LNG Flora has a length overall of 272 m, beam of 47.2 m and maximum draught of 11.4 m.
In 2018, TGE Marine Gas Engineering, an affiliate of Gasfin, signed a contract for the design and supply of the cargo handling system and tank material package for the FRU with China’s Jiangnan Shipyard group. The 28,000-m3 capacity barge type FRU was ordered by Tema LNG, which is backed by Africa-focused private equity group Helios Investment from London.
In close co-operation with the owner and the shipyard, TGE Marine has participated in the development of the flexible FRU design, working in parallel with the conversion of the larger FSU. Fitted with two IMO Type C cylindrical tanks, each with a capacity of 14,000 m3, the FRU will feature five modular compact regas skids. Regas capacity for the FRU will be a peak send-out rate of 335 t/h, or 2.9 mta at a send-out pressure of 65 bar.
FSRU retrofit for Brazilian gas-to-power project
Sembcorp is retrofitting the 173,400-m3 FSRU BW Magna for BW LNG Pte Ltd for its new life supporting an LNG-to-power project in Brazil. Built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), BW Magna entered the shipyard in August, where it is being fitted with ship-to-ship marine loading arms, a full reliquefication plant and a full LNG sampling system. Once the conversion is completed, BW Magna will have a regasification capacity of 1Bn standard cubic feet per day (scfd).
BW Magna will sail to Port Açu in Brazil to operate under a 23-year contract to Gás Natural Açu (GNA), a joint venture formed by Prumo Logística, BP and Siemens.
The Brazilian Port Açu project is one of the largest greenfield LNG-to-power projects in the world and with the second phase, the largest gas-fired power development in Latin America.
The Port Açu Gas Hub consists of two power plants, with the first scheduled for start-up in 2021 and the second scheduled for start-up in 2023. Located 350 km north of Rio de Janeiro, the project has 6.4 GW in environmental licenses for natural gas-fired thermal power plants, which allows for the possibility of expansion or further thermal power station projects in the future.
One of the distinctive features that will set BW Magna apart from the rest of BW LNG’s fleet will be its colour. BW LNG says the vessel’s colour scheme will be changed from the traditional green hull and green deck to a blue hull and grey deck. Explaining the choice, BW LNG site and construction manager Andrew Nunn said: “BW’s gas vessels are traditionally in our corporate green. However, for BW Magna, we have agreed to a colour change because it has been observed that wildlife, including endangered species of turtles found in the Port Açu area, are attracted to shades of green, putting them at potential risk from vessel operations.” He added: “BW Magna will be moored alongside the Port Açu jetty in a pristine area of Brazil, and we are committed to do our part to minimise our environmental impact.”