France’s Dunkirk LNG import terminal, the country’s fourth regasification facility, is carrying out works to up the refueling rates at the facility.
Dunkerque LNG the terminal operator owned 65 percent by EDF, said eight pumps will be replaced prior to the installation of a new compressor, all with the aim to increase the LNG refueling capacity from 4,000 cubic meters per hour currently to 8.800 cubic meters per hour.
The service is expected to be in service by the end of the year.
The company noted in a statement that the first LNG reloading operation took place at the end of January, when previously imported volumes were reloaded onto the Provalys LNG carrier. While no issues occurred during the operation, technical constraints allowed for the refueling rates of 3,300 cubic meters per hour.
The company has hired TS LNG for a series of works and modifications under technical guidance by EDF to increase refueling capacity to 8,800 cubic meters hour.
“We need to replace the 8 reservoir pumps for a greater capacity,” said Sylvain Ringot, director of industrial development at Dunkerque LNG, adding that “the first was installed at the start of April and is operating properly. The 7 others will be installed one per week.”
A larger refueling capacity will also mean a greater capacity for processing boil-off gas. Consequently, a 4th BOG compressor has been installed by the teams working for TS LNG, the contractor of the terminal.
The terminal will be out of action for six weeks from August to September to allow for the compressor to be connected. The 4th BOG compressor should be in operation in the second half of September, with the rapid refueling service to be fully operational by the end of the year, Dunkerque LNG said.
Dunkerque LNG eyeing small-scale jetty
In addition to the increase of LNG reloading rates, the terminal operator is looking into the option of adding a jetty dedicated for the small-scale market.
“The LNG-as-fuel market is just getting started. Some future studies have indicated that by 2030 consumption of LNG could reach 15 to 20 million tonnes a year in north-western Europe,” said Cécile Grégoire-David, business development director at Dunkerque LNG.
She added that, although the volumes would still be low compared to LNG imports for regasification, it’s nonetheless an attractive prospect for the company and it plans to build the necessary infrastructure to take advantage of the market.
Initially, Dunkerque LNG plans to make the investments necessary for adapting the current mooring system on its jetty. Dunkerque LNG also plans to build a specific jetty for the small-scale market.
“At the moment, we’re exploring possible technical solutions and the economic considerations involved in having a jetty specifically for refueling,” Grégoire-David concluded.