Civil Construction for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) TerminalsSeptember 17, 2014
There are two types of LNG terminals: liquefaction terminals, which convert gaseous natural gas into a liquefied form, thereby creating LNG, and regasification terminals, which reconstitute LNG back into a gaseous form. Natural gas is often converted into LNG so that it can be transported more efficiently. For example a comparable quantity of LNG only takes up about 1/600th the space that gaseous natural gas would take up. However, many industrial processes and energy-consuming equipment require the gaseous form of natural gas in order to work. Therefor, it is common for natural gas to be converted into LNG at a liquefaction terminal for transport then reconverted into natural gas at a regasification terminal once it reaches its destination. Thus LNG terminals terminals are an integral part of the energy landscape. LNG terminals need to operate at optimal efficiency both in order to keep up with demand and to run as cost efficiently as possible. A crucial aspect of the efficiency of an LNG terminal is of course how well it has been constructed. In turn construction quality itself is heavily impacted by civil work which provides the basis for the entire construction project. In this article we’ll take a look at the civil work required to construct efficient, high quality LNG terminals and what factors go into that.
Laying the Foundation for LNG TerminalsCivil work quite literally lays the foundation for efficient LNG terminals. The initial civil work will have long-term importance and consequence for the productivity and output of the LNG terminal by providing a basis for the entire construction project. It is crucial that the foundation, prep work, and space surrounding the LNG terminal be strong and solid to ensure that it can stand up to the demands of construction, as well as to the longer-term requirements of the LNG terminal.
Types of Civil Work for LNG Terminal ProjectsCivil work encompasses an array of preliminary construction tasks. Several of the key types of civil work that will be needed for the effective construction of LNG terminals include the following:
- Deep Foundations - Deep foundations such as pilings bear the weight of the LNG terminal and ensure the safety and strength of the structure. It is critical that the construction company working on the project select the optimal type of piling and correctly drive them.
- Concrete - Concrete is a key component of most industrial construction projects and that includes construction of LNG terminals. The construction company should ensure that its concrete meets the standards set by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) as well as the standards set by ASTM International and other industry benchmarks.
- Subgrade Stabilization - Subgrade stabilization ensures that the ground underneath of the LNG terminal and the surrounding area have been properly stabilized and will not shift suddenly. Unexpected shifting could damage the foundation and structure of the LNG terminal and compromise its safety.
- Site Improvement and Prep - Before construction on the LNG terminal can begin the designated area will need to be cleared of trees, shrubs, and rocks. It will also likely need to be excavated and may also require shoring and erosion control to protect the worksite from the elements during construction.
Special Considerations for Civil Work for LNG TerminalsIn addition to these fundamental aspects of quality civil work for LNG terminals there will also likely be special considerations particular to the construction project. For example the construction company will likely need to consider the following:
- Environmental factors
- Budgetary considerations
- The project’s timeline
- The LNG terminal’s intended size and capacity
- Local construction codes and regulations