Brazilian LNG regasification terminals seen as infrastructure highlight

Jul 06, 2010 02:00 AM

Based on a groundbreaking project, Petrobras has built two LNG regasification terminals, one at the Pecem Terminal, in São Goncalo do Amarante (state of Ceara), and another in the Guanabara Bay, in Rio de Janeiro.
Petrobras's liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification project was singled out by the KPMG think tank as an infrastructure highlight in the world. The survey, carried out by KPMG'S global infrastructure practice alongside the Infrastructure Journal, an English service on global infrastructure and project funding, lists the 100 most interesting global infrastructure projects in the world, six of which in Brazil.

The regasification process is done on board vessels. In operation since January 2009, together the two terminals can process 21 mm cm of natural gas per day.
The regasification is done aboard the Golar Winter and Golar Spirit vessels, chartered from multinational outfit Golar LNG. The two vessels had been operating as LNG carriers and were adapted, especially for Petrobras's projects, to, in addition to transport, also store and regasify gas in liquid form. In practice, the vessels act as natural gas reservoirs and can be considered the heart of Petrobras's LNG project. KPMG'S list cites the project as the Golar/Petrobras FLNG.

One of the innovations of Petrobras's LNG project is the transfer of liquefied natural gas between vessels -- the supply vessel and the regasifier one -- via cryogenic arms capable of withstanding temperatures of minus 162 degrees Celsius. The potential for this project's replication the world over was the main reason mentioned by the judges to include it in the list, released in late June, and which only mentions one project per area of infrastructure. The five main criteria used to choose the projects were their replication, feasibility, complexity, innovation, and impact on society.
"The project provides an economically viable alternative to connect regasification facilities to the market," explains the KPMG document, stating that "the technology often referred to as a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) can be developed globally."

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