China set to build its first FLNG unit?

Nobu SU, a member of Asia’s shipping industry, and the Chairman of  TMT Co., Ltd. and Bluesky FLNG Corporation, has announced that his patented technologies for FPSO System and FLNG Platform, will be applied to 3 to 5 nos of existing VLCC and VLOO.

This conversion plan is expected to bring significant added value to VLOO (Very Large Ore/ Oil Carriers), and will be implemented by one of the top Chinese shipbuilding companies.

Bluesky FLNG, a company under the management of Nobu SU, entered into a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) in 2013 with its shipbuilding partner. While this is the first FLNG project in China, this cooperation will generate a synergistic effect to both parties.

An FLNG (Floating Liquefied Natural Gas) is a platform that features an LNG storage tank and an FLNG liquefaction plant. It is principally used to liquefy and store natural gas produced from undersea gas fields found far away from land, and subsequently loaded onto LNG carriers. The length of the platform varies from 330m to 500m, while its beam varies from 60m to 75m.

FPSO
The first application of FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Off-Loading) will be on the Elephant series, which is a coated VLCC (Very Large Crude Carriers) with dynamic positioning; hence making it suitable for this new system. The carrier, with its 5,500 kw power generator and hybrid motor driven pump for loading and discharging crude oil, will cost approximately USD120 million based on present cost estimates.

A Monaco-based oil services company; International offshore oilfield services providers; and one of the world’s largest marine energy transportation, storage and production companies, are all potential buyers of FPSO, having already shown interest in this innovative system.

FLNG
In Phases, the Whale series will integrate into the FLNG platform. Whale series are total coated carriers that are larger than VLCCs. These carriers are being converted to become among the world largest platform with 500m length. After completion of the installation work, they will become the world’s largest triple hull LNG ships, with a size of 450,000 DWT, which is expected to generate significant value to the carrier owners. The time required to integrate the FLNG platform will be between 26 – 30 months.

Thus far, the FLNG platform has been tested under actual sea conditions using the existing Whale series for sloshing effect; pre feed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in Japan for liquefaction process and has completed ship-to-ship transfer trials at sea.

Nobu SU has been committed to assisting Asian companies better integrate into the global economy through innovative technologies. With respect to his inventions, i.e. FPSO and the FLNG platform, Su said, “While the patented and patenting technologies are highly useful for adding value to VLCC / VLOO, I believe that both technologies will also help bolster China’s shipbuilding expertise. Moreover, our target is to offer the FLNG platform to the US, and Africa, specifically natural gas companies that require FLNG liquefaction capabilities, which we believe will improve the production efficiency of carriers and benefit the industry as a whole.”

Press Release, May 19, 2014

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