Construction of LNG Terminals
May 5, 2015
Liquefied natural gas, or LNG, terminals are hubs where LNG is processed into a liquid from a gas, or from a liquid back into a gas. LNG plays a vital role in the transport of natural gas because as a liquid it is considerably denser, about 600 times as dense, as it would be in its gaseous form. This decreased volume allows it to be handled and shipped much more efficiently and cost effectively. Because of these benefits more and more LNG terminals are being built to process the LNG. The quality of construction is paramount because once the facilities are operational their quality of construction will strongly affect their operational productivity and safety.
Types of LNG Terminals
As we briefly touched on above there are two types of LNG terminals: liquefaction terminals which convert the gas form of natural gas into a liquid state, thereby forming LNG, and regasification terminals, which convert liquid LNG back into a gas form. The type of LNG terminal will of course influence its construction somewhat since it will have different demands placed on it.
LNG Terminal Access
LNG is often transported across open water in large tankers. For this reason LNG terminals are usually built near shores and waterways. Access to pipelines, highways, and railways are also beneficial since natural gas frequently utilizes these transport methods. Depending on the particular location of the intended LNG terminal and the transport methods that it will use, construction of the facility will likely need to factor in logistics for loading and unloading from ship, pipeline, truck, or rail.
Other Factors That Affect Construction of LNG Terminals
Apart from the type of LNG terminal and its transload considerations there are an array of other factors that affect the construction of LNG terminals. Some of those factors include the following:
Geographic Location - As we mentioned above the location of the LNG terminal matters as far as its access points and shipping and receiving capabilities; however, the geographic location itself will also impact the process of construction. Rainfall, wind, snow, and other weather conditions may delay construction or require special measures to be taken to overcome weather obstacles. Additionally, if the facility is in an area prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters the construction will have to meet certain code requirements.
Size and Capacity Requirements - Naturally the size of the LNG terminal and its intended production capacity will also play a major role in construction. Larger facilities will of course require more materials to build and may also necessitate heavier, larger equipment, or more units of equipment. This in turn may also affect manpower and overall construction time and cost.
Timeline for Completion - The timeline for completion for the LNG terminal will significantly affect its construction. If there is a tight deadline construction will likely require more workers and special efforts will have to be taken to compensate for any delays or setbacks.
Budgetary Resources - The budget for the project will also have a large effect over the LNG terminal’s construction. It could influence the materials selected, the days and times worked, the size of work crews, and much more. It may even influence the overall size and design of the facility.
Experience and Industry Knowledge of Construction Company - The experience and knowledge of the construction company will also play a large role in construction of the LNG terminal. More knowledgeable, experienced construction companies will be better able to plan for costs, overcome delays, anticipate and avoid problems, and work with the bigger picture in mind.
Resources and Capabilities of Construction Company - The resources and capabilities of the construction company is one of the single most important factors that will determine the success or failure of the LNG terminal project. Financially stable construction companies with a well-stocked fleet of state-of-the-art equipment, expert craftsmen and welders, and good relationships with vendors and subcontractors will be in a strong position to steer the project toward success. By contrast construction companies with limited resources will put the project at a disadvantage and in the worst case scenario could make mistakes that endanger the facility and staff.
In conclusion the quality of construction of an LNG terminal will have long-lasting implications for the facility’s productivity, efficiency, and safety. A great deal is riding on construction and on the construction company that oversees it. STI Group has spent over 35 years developing our skills and resources in the oil and gas services sector. We are proud to have what it takes to deliver outstanding construction services for LNG terminals. We are dedicated to delivering nothing but the best to our clients.