ENERGY ShipBuilding in West Africa, Libya, Latin America and particularly Iraq; vast strategic storage in China; and more refineries in both China and India which would generate new export demand for medium- and long-range products carriers. A few weeks earlier—at this year’s Gastech event, also in London—there was a strong undercurrent of excitement as exhibitors and delegates delighted in the long-awaited LNG upturn. Once again, the U.S. was center stage, with cheap gas and a range of export projects a major topic of discussion. Cheniere’s Sabine Pass LNG export facility, now under construction and due to start exporting gas in 2015, was a key focus. When all its production trains are commissioned, the company will export some 2.2bn ft³/day of gas to international
customers including BG Group, GAIL of India, South Korea’s KOGAS and Gas Natural Fenosa of Spain. Meanwhile, seven other export terminals have been proposed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and are now under consideration. Engineering firms specializing in gas handling cryogenic technology and exhibiting at Gastech could hardly contain their excitement. Many are predicting the construction of a host of new import/ export terminals of varying shapes and sizes, spread right across the globe. All will require sophisticated regasification or reliquefaction facilities, supported in many cases by floating storage units of one type or another. Relatively cheap U.S. gas is likely to be the catalyst for many of these developments.
In shipping, LNG bears have expressed concern on a number of counts—the scale of the 70-plus LNG carrier orderbook; the fact that many vessels have been ordered on spec by new entrants to the sector; and the fact that around 30 of the LNG carriers currently under construction remain unfixed today. The bulls, meanwhile, point to soaring global gas demand, new markets, new trades and the strongest freight market anyone can remember. Energy shipping is certainly undergoing a change of emphasis and more blood will likely be spilt over the next two years. However, for those strong enough to weather the imminent storm, there are likely to be spectacular opportunities ahead. ML
Waller Marine to develop small-scale LNG terminals Liquefied natural gas has sparked strong interest as a marine fuel because of its relative abundance, low price and attractive environmental performance. One challenge is the ready availability of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for bunkering. Houston-based Waller Marine, Inc., however, is working towards a solution. Through its LNG development subsidiaries, Waller Energy Holdings, LLC and Waller LNG Services, LLC, it is developing a natural gas liquefaction (LNG) facility on a 175-acre site the at the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron Parish in Southwest Louisiana. It is the first of seven planned small-scale LNG terminals that will be cited around the U.S. coast. Using small-scale liquefaction technology, Waller Marine plans to install nominal 500,000 gallon per day LNG trains in phases as the market and demand for marine LNG fuels expands. The first trains are planned for the Waller Point LNG terminal in Cameron Parish, and additional trains are planned for a second terminal that it is developing through its subsidiary Waller Energy Partners, LLC, at a site to be secured on the Mississippi River in the first quarter of 2013. With the new North American Emission Control Area (ECA) regulations in effect, Waller Marine’s focus is to supply LNG to the marine fuels market. To enable the supply and distribution of LNG to and from small scale LNG
Waller Marine’s 30,000 m3 ATB LNG RV terminals and for bunkering LNG as a marine fuel, Waller has also conceived and designed a series of small LNG vessels ranging from its 2,000 to 10,000 m3 capacity river transport and bunker barges and its 10,000 to 30,000 m3 coastwise ATB LNG vessels. Waller’s concepts are patent pending before the USPTO, and Waller has recently acquired Approval in Principle from ABS. U.S. vessel owners are faced with increasing costs of operations as the ECA regulations drive decisions on how they should comply; one, by installing exhaust gas scrubbers or two, by using expensive ultra-low sulfur fuels. A third and more cost-effective alternative that will permit compliance with emissions is the use of LNG to fuel their vessels. Waller Marine says with strategically located LNG supply facilities, a
distribution of the fuel by Waller barges to small-scale LNG storage terminals combined with ship fueling with Waller LNG bunker barges at anchorages, ports and terminals throughout the U.S., vessel owners will have access to competitively priced LNG. Waller anticipates that substantial savings can be achieved by vessel owners using LNG fuels with payback for conversion costs being as short as six months. Waller has also initiated a vessel conversion strategy and is working with partners on providing funding for the conversion of ships to be fueled by LNG. Working with engine manufacturers and equipment suppliers, Waller is engineering shipboard LNG fuel storage and supply systems for vessels having a range of horsepower. They are also developing pre-manufactured systems to reduce or eliminate downtime during conversion. ML
dECEMBER 2012 MARINE LOG 21
Dec 2012 Marine Log Magazine