Oslo-based Connect LNG has hailed its universal transfer system’s first live test, completed this weekend with LNG supplier Gas Natural Fenosa of Spain at the Norwegian port of Herøya.
Gas Natural Fenosa and Connect LNG have formed a strategic partnership to market the universal transfer system (UTS). Connect LNG says Saturday’s operation marks “a new era in LNG distribution”, launching the first floating LNG ship-to-shore system.
The UTS transferred LNG from the 15,600 mᶾ Skangas-chartered small-scale LNG carrier Coral Energy to the onshore terminal at Herøya. Classed by DNV GL, the UTS took less than six months from design to hook-up. Connect LNG installed it in a day and completed the transfer a day later.
Design firms are racing to bring floating small-scale LNG-transfer technologies to market. Connect LNG managing director Morten Christophersen told LNG World Shipping that the transfer is the first to use floating hoses and the first involving 30 m clean hoses. He describes the system as “a game-changing floating solution” that “replaces the need for cost- and environmental-intensive harbour and jetty structures”.
The UTS can connect to any LNG carrier, creating a “plug-and-play system” to transfer LNG to shore using floating, flexible pipes. It enables ports with shallow drafts to import LNG cargoes, Mr Christophersen said. “It means that the limit is the size of the LNG-carrying vessel.”
Spanish energy giant Gas Natural Fenosa said “From now on, we have a market-ready system that opens a world of possibilities in the LNG small-scale business”.
The UTS will remain in Norway until Connect LNG and Gas Natural Fenosa find a permanent taker for the unit.