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Universal Transfer System Enables Cost-Efficient LNG Loading

Technology Overview

In order to serve the rapidly emerging demand for LNG, new infrastructure needs to be developed. However, today's terminals requires construction of dedicated quays and jetties, which is costly and unattractive as an investment since the payback time often is prolonged. The UTS offers fast and low cost development of marine small-scale gas markets, which until now has been difficult. The buyers of UTS may be owners of export or import terminals for LNG as a commodity, gas to power developers, energy intensive industry, or ship owners looking to offer a unique and more integrated solution to their customers. By providing a cost-efficient LNG transfer system, Connect LNG will make investments in LNG terminals attractive, increasing the supply of cleaner and cheaper energy worldwide.

Technology Features & Specifications

The UTS is a system for transfer of LNG between LNG carriers and onshore tanks. The system mainly consists of a specially designed interface unit, enabling fast and reliable connection to a ship-side. The platform serves as an interface between the carrier manifold, and floating flexible pipes, linking the carrier tanks to the import or export facility. The UTS also comprise solutions for safe and efficient retrieval and storage of floating flexible pipes between operations. The system can handle any flowrate requirement, as it is very flexible to scale. Since the system consists of elements of proven technology, the system can be constructed centralized, at low cost.

Potential Applications

The UTS offers universal ship-to-shore transfer of a variety of liquids. The technology is incredibly versatile, and compatible with an extremely wide range of vessels. It is also compatible with transfer of different products at almost any water depths. As such, the UTS could be used for transfer of LPG, LEG, other petrochemical products, water, or electricity (cold ironing). The current focus of application is on small-scale LNG transfer, as this is a market where new infrastructure must be established as quickly as possible to meet the demand.

Market Trends and Opportunities

The demand for natural gas is increasing due to rising energy demand, the favorable price of LNG, and environmental aspects, as natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel. Infrastructure for large scale distribution is well established, while small-scale LNG requires development. The demand for small-scale LNG is especially prevalent in areas like South-East Asia and the Caribbean, where dispersed island geography makes pipelines and large scale distribution economically unfeasible. The recent decline in oil prices has increased the focus on cost, which is the most important value proposition of the UTS. Today, there is a large and increasing willingness to invest in LNG infrastructure, and Connect LNG has estimated that investments in worldwide LNG transfer solutions will exceed USD 10 billion in the 10 years.

Customer Benefits

The UBS provides the following advantages:

Cost efficient: The UTS can offer signicant cost savings compared to a dedicated jetty or quay for LNG transfer

Safe: The UTS offers increased safety with regards to collision risk by moving the operation away from shore

Mobility: UTS provides the possibility of terminal relocation or resale, eliminating the risk of your investment becoming a stranded asset

Universal: The UTS is compatible with a wide range of vessels, without any modications

Short lead time: Light and mobile technology combined with limited dredging requirements makes local permission and commissioning considerably faster than alternative solutions. It may also be the only viable solution in locations where dredging is not an option.

With these advantages, the UTS will enable LNG distribution, allowing eg. industrial parks to switch to LNG as a source of energy. With its favorable price compared to oil and LPG, this means that end users can save on their energy expenses, while reducing emissions.

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