Air Products Lands Prelude FLNG Contract (Australia)

Air Products, the leader in providing liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology and equipment to the world, today announced it has been selected to supply its proprietary cryogenic coil wound LNG heat exchanger for the world’s first Floating LNG (FLNG) facility to be located in the Browse Basin off the northwest coast of Western Australia.

In May, Shell announced it had made its final investment decision to move forward with the Prelude FLNG project. Air Products had been carrying out engineering in support of the front-end engineering design effort for the Prelude FLNG Project by a Technip and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) consortium.

Shell will locate its floating LNG facility approximately 125 miles offshore.  It will be the largest floating offshore facility in the world at 533 yards long. The establishment of FLNG plants has the potential to place gas liquefaction facilities directly over offshore gas fields, thereby precluding the need for long distance pipelines and extensive onshore infrastructure.  This innovative alternative to traditional onshore LNG plants provides a commercially attractive and environmentally sensitive approach for monetizing offshore gas fields.

This is a new market segment for LNG for all of us and required some innovation, which is an Air Products’ strength.  There is a lot of interest in monetizing the stranded natural gas fields located offshore around the globe.  In fact, we’ve been studying floating LNG plant design extensively for over 10 years.  We have completed empirical studies on our heat exchanger equipment in sea motion induced test rigs in order to position ourselves for what could be a major trend for this industry,” said Jim Solomon, director – LNG at Air Products.  Solomon added that as a result of its development efforts, Air Products has made design changes to its proprietary LNG heat exchanger to operate safely, effectively and efficiently in a floating environment.

Air Products is under contract on the FLNG project with Technip, which is designing and constructing the FLNG facility in a consortium with SHI. “Technip believes that the selection of the industry’s most capable suppliers is one of the keys to the success of Prelude FLNG, the world’s first facility of this kind,” said Joel Leroux, Technip-Samsung Consortium project director.

A majority of the total worldwide LNG is produced with Air Products’ technology. Air Products has designed, manufactured and exported over 90 coil wound heat exchangers for LNG projects in 15 countries from its Wilkes-Barre, Pa., United States facility over the last four decades.  In support of the LNG industry, Air Products provides process technology and key equipment for the heart of the natural gas liquefaction process, and also nitrogen plants for the base-load LNG facility, as well as process technology and equipment for small and mid-sized LNG plants, floating LNG plants and LNG peak shavers. Upstream, Air Products provides both nitrogen and natural gas dehydration membrane systems for offshore platforms. Downstream, Air Products provides dry inert gas generators for LNG carriers, shipboard membrane nitrogen systems, and land-based membrane and cryogenic nitrogen systems for LNG import terminals.

Source: Air Products, June 30, 2011;

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