Modular LNG

A primer

  1. Patents
  2. Some background on these
  3. EWC not the only one: Foster Wheeler
  4. Foster Wheeler starts with Woodside (see article below)
  5. And here
  6. And here
  7. Woodside Pluto project and others
  8. Hitachi and Toyo are serious about it (see article below)
  9. Chart and Toyo (see article below)
  10. Cheniere Energy?
  11. Siemens and EWC
  12. The Chinese?

Woodside/Foster Wheeler start world-first modular LNG plant
30 September 2008

Hamilton, Bermuda – The world’s first onshore LNG processing train to be designed and constructed in modular form – the North West Shelf Venture (NWSV) facility at Karratha, Western Australia, operated by Woodside Energy Ltd –  is now fully operational and producing LNG for export. The processing train was delivered by a joint venture led by Foster Wheeler.

The Foster Wheeler-WorleyParsons JV led the engineering, procurement and construction phase of the Aus$2.6-billion NWSV Phase V LNG expansion. This involved the construction of a fifth LNG processing train with a production capacity of 4.4 million metric tonnes a year, plus a jetty extension and second LNG loading berth, two additional power generation units, a third fractionation unit, a new fuel gas compressor, an acid gas removal unit and a third boil-off gas compressor. Foster Wheeler is currently applying simuilar modular design concepts and execution philosophy for the Pluto LNG plant for Woodside.

“Train 5 has been safely and successfully completed on time and at a highly competitive cost in an environment of extremely constrained resources. This remarkable achievement is testament to the focus and commitment of the project team in delivering this additional production infrastructure,” said Eve Howell, executive vice president North West Shelf, Woodside Energy Ltd.

The six equal participants in the North West Shelf Project are BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd, BP Developments Australia Pty Ltd, Chevron Australian Pty Ltd, Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd, Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd and operator Woodside Energy Ltd. China National Offshore Oil Corp. is also part of the North West Shelf Venture but does not have an interest in its infrastructure.


INTERVIEW: Hitachi, Toyo Target Sale Of Small LNG Plants To Asia
20.07.10, 10:34

TOKYO -(Dow Jones)- Hitachi Ltd. (6501.TO) and Toyo Engineering Corp. (6330.TO) are targeting a niche market that could meet a chunk of Asia’s future natural gas consumption: small-scale liquefied natural gas plants.

The Japanese technology firms are betting that gas demand will grow so quickly that tapping major deposits alone won’t be enough, and there will also be a need to focus on small-scale natural gas reserves, especially in Southeast Asia.

However, that strategy has several challenges. Small-scale plants will have to compete with several other new technologies that could swell regional gas supply, including the production of gas hydrates.

In addition, major energy consumers such as China are seeking to replicate the U.S. shale gas boom, which could drive down already-low natural gas prices further and throw the economics of small-scale LNG projects into doubt.

Tighter regulation of oil and gas exploration in the wake of BP PLC’s major oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico could affect the viability of projects, while the cost of raw materials like steel used in plant construction has been on an upward curve in recent years.

Hitachi and Toyo officials are confident that they can overcome such challenges. Project costs can be kept down by shortening the design phase through the use of existing technology, such as Hitachi’s electric motor and Chart Energy & Chemicals Inc.’s liquefaction processes, they say.

“Global demand for natural gas will continue rising, as natural gas is the most realistic source of clean energy. We can help promote” this trend by exploiting small- to medium-sized gas reserves, said Toshihiko Ito, Chief Strategic Officer of Hitachi’s social infrastructure systems company.

Hitachi and Toyo say their technology is suitable for the development of gas fields with reserves of between 500 million cubic feet and 5 billion cubic feet of gas.

There are more than 1,300 gas fields of this size across the world, according to consultancy IHS.

To put that in context, the Gorgon field–Australia’s largest gas resource–contains an estimated 40 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Hiroshi Sato, general manager of Toyo’s international sales and marketing, said a key difference between small-scale and larger projects was in approach.

Plants for the biggest projects are designed specifically for each gas field, with capacity tailored to the expected output.

But smaller projects have an advantage as planners “can decide on capacity first, and build a plant using ready-made modules,” Sato said.

It takes about 35 months to design and build a small LNG plant, which is roughly half the time it takes to build a large terminal, he said.

In June, Hitachi and Toyo began a study for Eastern Star Gas Ltd. (ESG.AU) on the feasibility of an LNG export terminal at Newcastle, Australia’s New South Wales state.

Eastern Star says the first stage of the project will have an annual capacity of 1 million metric tons of LNG, with construction costs at A$1 billion excluding a pipeline. First LNG shipments are targeted for 2014.

This plan is much smaller than the Chevron Corp.-led Gorgon project, which is estimated to cost A$43 billion and has a designed capacity of 15 million tons of LNG annually.

Hitachi and Toyo Engineering officials declined to discuss costs. But Hitachi’s Ito said modular LNG technology “is more realistic than conventional” technology for an LNG terminal with an annual capacity as small as 1 million tons.

Marketing could be difficult as LNG produced from coal seam gas contains a lower calorific value per volume than conventional supply, meaning it produces less energy when burnt.

While this calorific value can be lifted by spiking with products such as ethane and butane, many LNG buyers in Japan continue to prefer imports of conventional supply. Japan is the largest LNG importing country by volume who represents roughly 40% of global demand.

However, Hitachi’s Ito and Toyo Engineering’s Sato said they aren’t overly concerned, as some Japanese gas importers and users in other Asian countries like China are willing to use LNG made from coal seam gas.

Tokyo Gas Co. (9531.TO), Japan’s largest gas utility by sales volume, signed a preliminary agreement with BG Group PLC (BG.LN) in March to buy LNG from its proposed terminal at the port of Gladstone in Australia’s Queensland state. The LNG will be made from coal seam gas.


Chart Energy & Chemicals And Toyo Engineering Corporation Sign Mid-Scale LNG Liquefaction Technology And Equipment Supply Agreement
August 4, 2009

Cleveland, OH (Globe Newswire) — Chart Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq:GTLS) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Chart Energy & Chemicals, Inc. (“Chart E&C”), has signed a cooperation agreement with Toyo Engineering Corporation (“TOYO”) of Japan to jointly pursue certain mid-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) opportunities. For those opportunities that Chart E&C and TOYO agree to pursue, Chart E&C will provide the LNG liquefaction process technology, including integrated natural gas liquids (NGL) and nitrogen rejection technology as appropriate, together with equipment including brazed aluminum heat exchangers, cold boxes and air cooled heat exchangers. TOYO will provide overall Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services and project management.

“This Agreement with Toyo Engineering Corporation broadens Chart E&C’s value proposition as a leader in mid-scale LNG technology and supplier of highly engineered cryogenic equipment such as brazed aluminum heat exchangers, modular LNG units and other gas processing equipment to the emerging mid-scale LNG market. It also complements our long-standing critical liquefaction equipment supply relationships for base-load LNG plants,” said Michael Bright, President of Chart Energy & Chemicals, Inc. “I am excited by the opportunities this cooperation promises to bring to Chart E&C and look forward to a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with TOYO and to the delivery of many successful projects to our mid-scale LNG customers.”

Yutaka Yamada, President and CEO of TOYO, was understandably excited with the collaboration, stating “Mid-scale LNG is one of the important options available for developing small- to medium-size gas fields and coal bed methane (CBM), which has recently been highlighted as a recoverable energy resource. Chart’s LNG technology, employing the single mixed refrigerant (SMR), is a very simple process solution requiring less capital and hence lower business risk, less equipment and hence a smaller footprint, leading to a shorter EPC schedule, all of which are economically attractive for the smaller gas fields. TOYO and Chart E&C also agreed to jointly explore opportunities in the field of Floating-LNG. In addition to TOYO’s existing business lines that include ammonia, methanol, DME (Dimethyl-ether) and the micro-GTL (gas to liquids) process that is currently under development, TOYO can offer a range of solutions for the utilization of stranded natural gas resources by adding this mid-scale LNG option to the company’s business line.”

Certain statements made in this news release are or imply forward-looking statements about Chart, such as statements about future opportunities or performance and other information that is not historical in nature. These statements are made based on management’s expectations concerning future events and are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including the cyclicality of product markets, a delay or reduction in purchases, the impact of economic and financial conditions, fluctuations in energy prices, and competition. For a discussion of these and additional factors that could cause actual results to differ from forward-looking statements, see Chart’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chart is a leading global manufacturer of highly engineered equipment used in the production, storage and end-use of hydrocarbon and industrial gases. The majority of Chart’s products are used throughout the liquid gas supply chain for purification, liquefaction, distribution, storage and end-use applications, the largest portion of which are energy-related. Chart has domestic operations located in seven states and an international presence in Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Germany and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit:

TOYO, employing over 7,000 staff members globally, provides EPC services, design, engineering, equipment procurement, construction, operation and technical services in areas such as general chemicals, petrochemicals, petroleum refining, natural gas, power generation, nuclear power, advanced production systems, distribution networks, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and environmental business. In addition, TOYO provides technology related to its proprietary urea process technologies, DME and polystyrene processes. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Chart Industries, Inc.