Blu LNG announced yesterday James Edward Burns has been named as the company’s new President. Burns will leverage his extensive industry experience and expertise of nearly 25 years in the energy sector to further position Blu for significant expansion according to a Blu LNG statement.
As president, Burns will lead Blu’s day-to-day operations and strategic direction with a specific focus on maximizing the company’s recent innovations and working to expand its reach in domestic LNG use. While the trucking market will continue to be an emphasis, Blu will work to expand into the broader LNG market, including marine, mining, rail, oil and gas and other industrial applications.
Burns, who has worked in senior positions with Shell, Texaco and ARCO, most recently served as president of Fortress Energy Partners. Prior to that, Burns worked for Shell for 14 years in positions including general manager for LNG for transportation and global LNG finance advisor.
Wärtsilä announced today it has been given full notice to proceed from Manga LNG Oy for the supply of a LNG import terminal in Tornio, Northern Finland. Wärtsilä will start construction on the site near the port of Tornio in January 2015. Manga LNG Oy is a joint venture of Outokumpu Group, Svenskt Stål AB, Skangass and EPV Energy Ltd.
Wärtsilä initially announced this project in January 2014. The order, valued at approximately EUR 100 million, will be included in Wärtsilä's order intake in December 2014 according to a Wärtsilä statement.
Wärtsilä noted the turnkey delivery of the first import terminal supplied by Wärtsilä includes complete unloading, storing and regasification equipment for LNG. The capacity of the LNG storage tank will be 50 000 cubic metres. A 10-year maintenance agreement was also signed between the parties.
One of the main users of the imported natural gas will be the Outokumpu Tornio steel mill. A gas pipeline will be built to the nearby Röyttä industrial site, where the mill is located. Additional potential gas users are mines, factories and other industrial customers in Northern Finland and Sweden. Railroad and truck transportation from the terminal will be available. The terminal can also be used for LNG bunkering as well as to supply fuel for LNG-powered ships.
"The world is switching to natural gas, and we make it available in new places. With our unique turnkey offering, we are ready take a leading role in end-to-end LNG systems," says Tore Björkman, Vice President, LNG and Nuclear, Wärtsilä Power Plants.
Image Above Source: Wärtsilä
Clean Energy Fuels Corp., today announced it will design, build and operate a compressed natural gas fueling station for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. The deal according to a Clean Energy Fuels statement is valued at $8.1 million and will also include facility modifications to accommodate the conversion of JTA’s buses from diesel to CNG. Clean Energy reported today 5,510 additional natural gas vehicles began fueling throughout Clean Energy’s nationwide network year-to-date in 2014 which is a 23% increase in vehicles fueling compared to the same period in 2013. “The CNG fueling facility is a “win-win-win” for the Authority and the Jacksonville community,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “We will reduce costs, improve the environment and create opportunities for other fleets to reap the benefits of CNG.”
Cummins Westport Inc. today announced changes to its Board of Directors and Management in accordance with the terms of the 50/50 Joint Venture Agreement between Cummins Inc. and Westport Innovations Inc.
The changes are effective immediately.
Board of Directors changes include:
Changes to the Management Team include:
In addition to Arthurs and Thompson, the following have been elected to the CWI Board of Directors for a one year term.
LNG Mobile Pipeline Growth
An LNG mobile pipeline behaves nearly the same as a standard pipeline. The main difference is that with the LNG mobile pipeline, natural gas molecules are transported in cryogenic liquid form thus the mobile pipeline system includes storage and regasification components. While the standard pipeline system can provide inexpensive transportation, the upfront cost of building the pipeline can be difficult to manage. As well, standard pipelines depend on governmental and global regulations to keep the pipeline supplied with natural gas and they have a tendency to be inflexible.
Enter the LNG Mobile Pipeline. This system was designed to transform the complex inflexible infrastructure of standard pipelines into a more controlled and flexible source. Once customers secure an LNG source, they do not have to rely on the existence of a traditional pipeline – they can be located and serviced anywhere. At Worthington Industries, our concept of “mobile pipeline” is just that – mobile. The entire system of trailers, tanks and regasification components can be relocated as needed.
Rescuing a financially-strapped company with LNG mobile pipeline
In 2004, a Turkish ceramics plant was swiftly nearing the edge of bankruptcy due to rising costs in the energy needed to run the plant. The plant was spending more than US$ 8/gal for propane to run the high-energy ovens. They enlisted the help of European company, Aritas, who later went on to form a joint venture with Worthington Industries. Since the 1980s, Aritas had been producing cryogenic storage equipment and associated systems for liquid nitrogen, oxygen, argon and CO2. They understood the needs of the Turkish plant and realized that the plant could save more than 50% on energy costs if they switched from propane to natural gas. One problem, however, was that the plant was located in a rural location with no nearby pipeline infrastructures scheduled to be developed for several years.
Using their experience in cryogenic systems, Aritas developed a solution to circumvent this issue by routing LNG from the Middle East into the national pipeline infrastructure in Turkey. Aritas proposed reconfiguring the storage tanks in an LNG import facility in Turkey so that the tanks could offtake LNG. If Aritas was able to reconfigure their existing systems, the facility agreed to sell the LNG at a wholesale price. After securing the source of LNG, Aritas then tackled the issue of moving the LNG from the import facility to the rural ceramics plant.
Enter the mobile pipeline
For this project, Aritas took an existing liquid nitrogen trailer design, factored to the mandatory safety requirements and retrofitted to transport LNG. Aritas created two of these LNG trailers in order to effectively move the LNG from the import facility to the plant, thus pioneering the transport of LNG in Turkey.
After successfully moving the LNG to the plant, Aritas needed to address the issue of regasification. A regasification unit was crafted by combining the existing designs for bulk storage tanks and vaporisers. The ceramics ovens were then converted from operating on propane to operating on natural gas.
Aritas reduced the ceramic plant’s annual operating costs by US $6,000,000, effectively rescuing the company from filing for bankruptcy. Today, the plant is still in operation and functioning as a profitable company. Aritas was able to accomplish the plant’s conversion from propane to natural gas within a year’s time securing the company’s financial stability.
Successful Deployments Around the World
Shortly after the first LNG mobile pipeline was deployed in Turkey, the benefits of conversion from propane to natural gas attracted many countries to immediately follow suit. Norway, France, Russia and Germany along with the Northeast region of the United States and China all saw the potential for the LNG mobile pipeline and are creating similar applications within their borders. Heavy duty trucks and buses see a great benefit from the LNG mobile pipeline and as of January 2014, China had almost 20 times more LNG fueling stations than the US. Because China does not have a traditional pipeline infrastructure, an LNG mobile pipeline is quicker, easier and more flexible than using standard natural gas.
Challenges and Success in the European Market
When temperatures are favorable and there is a nearby city or roadway, the creation of an LNG mobile pipeline is rather textbook. However, Worthington-Aritas is no stranger to creating a mobile pipeline solution in the face of extreme conditions. One example is the creation of an LNG mobile pipeline in the mountains of Istanbul when extreme temperatures threatened the integrity of the equipment.
In addition, some LNG mobile pipelines are required in areas that have been historically unfavorable to the development of a traditional pipeline infrastructure. Typically this is caused by “difficult” terrain. In one particular example, Worthington-Aritas was tasked with transporting LNG to a mine site that was located on a steep grade proving to be too narrow for standard trailer access. To solve this issue, Worthington-Aritas utilized a bobtail LNG truck that was able to navigate the terrain in order to deliver the LNG safely to the worksite.
Another LNG issue can arise for seasonal users of natural gas who only require LNG for a period of 6 months. The cost it takes to invest in a cryogenic system that is essentially unused for half of the year greatly minimizes the overall cost effectiveness of the system. For these specific situations, Worthington-Aritas has created options for these users to maximize their investment. The most cost effective option, in terms of overall capital cost, is for a customer who requires 60,000 gallons of storage to acquire a 60,000 gallon tank. However, in a seasonal environment, a use for that tank must be identified for half of the year and the expense and difficulty of moving the tank coupled with the fact that the 1x 60,000 galllon tank does not have much demand in the market proves to be a challenge. One Eastern European company solved this by spending a bit more at the outset to purchase 10x 60,000 gallon storage tanks. In the off-season, these tanks can be redeployed to users who require smaller amounts.
Creativity in a Complex Situations
Space restraints can be a challenge for the LNG mobile pipeline. Worthington-Aritas faced a similar issue on a project in Norway where the client required LNG but did not have the space to accommodate LNG storage and vaporisers. To solve this, Worthington-Aritas got creative and created a unique, modular LNG system where the storage tank and vaporizer bank were enclosed within a steel frame. This enabled the ambient vaporisers to be raised up on a platform, rather than building the system out sideways. This allowed the system to take up as little space as possible on the customer’s property.
In Eastern Europe, vacation resorts and hotels located in rural areas without close proximity to a pipeline infrastructure create another challenge. For these customers, it is important to have a system that is inconspicuous and blends into the surrounding environment. The equipment needed to maintain the aesthetic of the property. In order to accomplish this, the tanks were set-up in a horizontal fashion and smaller tanks were deployed that could be camouflaged into the corners of the facility.
Expanding Customer Base and Future Opportunities
There are many challenges that deploying an LNG mobile pipeline must overcome – converting customers from traditional avenues and reaching customers in rural areas are the most prevalent. These challenges were overcome by partnering with the propane companies who were delivering to these customers. The propane companies were already utilizing storage tanks and liquid fuel. This proactive partnership helped pave the way for LNG to reach new customers in Eastern Europe and is starting to take effect in Latin America as well.
The first wave of LNG mobile pipeline converts will be those who are already using propane and liquid fuels for their energy needs. They are educated on the transportation of the fuel, have a current need and understand the cost effectiveness of the mobile pipeline, making it ideal for liquefaction companies to deliver to them. Oil and gas companies who are focused in exploration and production are also starting to see the benefits of LNG mobile pipelines. The very nature of energy exploration is to be “off-the-grid” and a mobile pipeline energy solution is ideal for this type of customer’s production operations. Another growing market includes rural factories and smaller users who, once a wider distribution network has been created and smaller quantities are available, will likely make the conversion.
Ideal future LNG customers are those who regularly use vast amounts of traditional fuels (e.g., diesel, heating oil, propane, etc.), this includes companies with large vehicles and/or companies who use large power generators and ovens. Worthington-Aritas begins each project by identifying a source of LNG and then works with the customers who consume large amounts of traditional fuels located in close proximity to convert to LNG since it is cheaper to move the LNG shorter distances.
A large potential source of LNG work for the future is in mobile applications for high horsepower areas such as marine, rail, mining and over-the-road trucking. This industry is experiencing some early interest and in the United States, peak shaving facilities are already providing the supply for these areas. The potential for growth of this sector rests with the pending completion of many small-scale LNG facilities that were specifically built near the major shale plays for this purpose. It is also anticipated that LNG mobile pipeline usage will increase in areas where businesses require energy usage in areas outside of cities.
While LNG in the European market is expanding, Worthington-Aritas is also seeing mobile pipeline applications in North America starting to take effect. They are expanding operations via new, state-of-the-art cryogenics facilities in order to meet the LNG fueling and distribution needs in the North American markets.
Currently, Worthington-Aritas is building, shipping and soon-to-be stocking products in order to bring LNG mobile pipeline solutions to the Americas. This includes 20,000 to 175,000 gallon engineered tanks built to store recently produced LNG, steel and aluminum LNG trailers and ISO containers to ship LNG, and a multitude of regasification products to deliver LNG to any setting in almost any application.
European Market Expansion
Following on the success with the Turkish ceramics factory, Aritas teamed up with a local gas supplier and spent the following decade building out the majority of a new infrastructure and expanding the Turkish market. Aritas also researched new LNG applications in Norway and France, utilizing the same approach in markets where it was more economically sound to transport equipment and source LNG.
Aritas then set its sights on the marine sector, specifically in Norway, Turkey and China. Aritas was instrumental in designing and manufacturing the fuel systems that converted some of the first ships to LNG. Recently, the company provided LNG on-board fueling storage and delivery systems to the largest LNG powered ship in the world. Drawing upon its experience in cryogenics and proven problem-solving abilities, Aritas has successfully tackled the complex cryogenic engineering problems in the gas sector and converted global, multi-million dollar marine ships from traditional fuel to LNG.
Above Photo Credit: Cryomar AS
Strategic Planning Through Partnerships
The key to Worthington-Aritas’s success is treating their clients as a partner rather than a transaction. It is important to understand the long-term goals, needs and local strategies of each customer. Many customers fall into the trap of simply requesting a standard bulk container or ISO container. Worthington-Aritas takes it one step further by truly understanding how the client intends to use the equipment, what their expected return is and what assets need to be delivered. From there, a custom economical and cost-effective solution is developed to deliver LNG with the client’s overall goal in mind.
Partnering with LNG distributors allows end users to make an easy transition with their fuel usage and achieve complete ROI. Often, companies will share the risk with their customer through financing or leasing programs if that is what makes the most sense for the customer and end user.
Worthington-Aritas does not intend for the LNG mobile pipeline to be a one-size-fits all solution. Their goal is to understand the customer needs and to deliver a custom tailored solution that greatly increases the economic viability for a variety of businesses that are off-pipeline.
Chart Industries subsidiary, Flow Instruments GmbH today announced the LNG DYNAFLOW 3000® Dispenser. The dispenser meets all EU and MID regulations and is ATEX safety approved. A Dead-Man Button means that filling can only start when the DMB is depressed. The system has approval from IVECO, SCANIA and VOLVO.
According to Flow Instruments GmbH other features include:
Full compatibility with IFSF standard and connection with standard POS systems or OPT
Card-Operated and/or self-service operation
Elegant and modern design
Optional customer graphics
Supplied ready for mounting onto a standard pump island
Can be supplied as part of an LNG Mobile or Stationary fuelling station
Equipped with a quick-connect LNG nozzle and compressed air nozzle for cleaning of truck LNG connection
Optional full calibration and service packages option
Thigpen Energy, Recapture Solutions and Flex Leasing Power and Service (FLPS) announced today that they have merged to become TRF Energy Solutions. According to a company statement TRF Energy Solutions will offer a comprehensive suite of natural gas solutions including remote power, natural gas fueling and flare reduction to customers across the continental United States. Thigpen is an "all-fuels" natural gas fueling for high horsepower and industrial markets company. Recapture Solutions offers flare reduction and natural gas liquids (NGL) capture solutions. FLPS offers remote power generation services.
"The combined company will offer customers a natural gas solution that is more comprehensive than any other on the market today. With the ability to capture flare gas, use the processed gas for high-horsepower fuel and provide natural gas generator power to the site upon well completion, TRF is positioned to service the well-site from drilling through production," said Sam Thigpen, CEO of TRF. "Additionally, we can provide power and natural gas fueling solutions to industrial, mining, agriculture and other markets outside of the oilfield."
TRF Energy Solutions is based in The Woodlands, Texas and has operating locations in the Gulf Coast, Rocky Mountains, Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Williston Basin, Mid-Continent and Appalachia. TRF Energy Solutions is backed by Intervale Capital an energy-focused private equity firm.
"We plan to accelerate our growth by offering a comprehensive suite of natural gas and all-fuels solutions. Our work in flare mitigation will help TRF's customers address regulatory changes and new standards for operations," said Jason Arnoldy, president of TRF. "The combination of Recapture's mobile natural gas processing services with FLPS's turbine generators and Thigpen's reputation for providing turnkey natural gas fueling services and expertise will allow TRF to offer comprehensive and innovative natural gas solutions as the industry transitions to more efficiently utilize one of our most economic and abundant resources."
TRF Energy Solutions recently completed construction of a new 20,000-square-foot fabrication facility in Spring, Texas, which will open in late December 2014. The facility will fabricate equipment for internal use, as well as provide an outsourced fabrication solution for TRF's customers.
"With the formation of TRF, our offering of turbine generators has been expanded to include reciprocating generators. Broadening our product portfolio will allow us to offer economic solutions for a broader range of projects," said Doug Baltzer, president of power for TRF. "We now have a complete solution, given our ability to fuel our generators with LNG, CNG or field gas."
"We look forward to supporting the TRF management team as it enters a period of rapid growth and expansion," said Charles Cherington, managing partner at Intervale Capital.
ABS announced it has published the ABS Guide for LNG Fuel Ready Vessels to support members and clients in preparing newbuildings for future conversion to gas propulsion.
According to ABS the Guide for LNG Fuel Ready Vessels formalizes the process for clients who wish to plan for conversion to LNG fuel at a future date by providing a detailed review and approval and an associated class notation.
“ABS is a leader in LNG as fuel, with a number of newbuilding and conversion projects in progress, and there is strong interest in preparing for a future in which LNG takes a bigger role,” says ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. “The Guide for LNG Fuel Ready Vessels draws on our practical experience by providing a detailed approval process and a notation that clarifies the extent to which a vessel is LNG Fuel Ready.”
The Guide includes a basic level of Concept Design Approval, with a design review for approval in principle (AIP), and two optional levels for general design approval and installed equipment, which constitute a complete review and survey of the system to be installed on the ship.
The ABS Guide for LNG Fuel Ready Vessels PDF can be found here.
Fred Meyer Stores, a division of The Kroger Co. has announced the arrival of the first 11 heavy-duty trucks that run on LNG. Fred Meyer will receive a total of 40 LNG trucks over the next several months, making Fred Meyer the first in Oregon to deploy a fleet of heavy-duty LNG trucks.
The new LNG trucks will replace 40 diesel trucks currently in use, and will deliver product to Fred Meyer stores as far south as Corvallis, Oregon, and as far north as Longview, Washington. Some of the 40 diesel trucks will be used to replace older, less efficient diesel trucks in the fleet.
“Fred Meyer is pleased to be the first in Kroger’s process of transitioning the Kroger fleet to alternative fuels,” said Lynn Gust, president of Fred Meyer Stores. “Converting to LNG trucks allows us to reinvest savings into lower prices while also providing a great benefit to the environment.”
The trucks will average approximately 175 miles per day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year. The trucks are manufactured at Freightliner’s North Carolina plant.
The fleet will be fueled at a new, private LNG fueling station at Fred Meyer’s Clackamas Distribution Center, which has been designed and engineered by Clean Energy Fuels Corp. Clean Energy will also supply the LNG for the fueling station, and once all 40 trucks are active, Clean Energy will supply the approximately one million gallons a year needed to service them.
“LNG is a viable alternative fuel for Kroger in the future,” said Ashley White, logistics sustainability manager for The Kroger Co. “It will serve as a bridge between traditional fossil fuels and emerging renewable fuels and technologies. We are committed to this very important work.”
Above: Kroger Dedicated Logistics Freightliner LNG Truck on display at the 2014 ACT Expo in Long Beach, California.
Skangass and North European Oil Trade have agreed on a supply contract for LNG to North European Oil Trade’s coming time chartered vessels entering into operation in 2016 according to a Skangass statement. The contract is valid for supply of LNG in the region of Lysekil-Gothenburg-Skaw and is also one of the first ship-to-ship bunker contracts for LNG in Europe.
“This is our first ship-to-ship bunker contract and we are very pleased with being chosen as LNG supplier for NEOT serving their new vessels”, said Tor Morten Osmundsen, CEO for Skangass.
Skangass currenlty offers LNG to marine customers by truck-to-ship, terminals-to-ship and ship-to-ship.
“We believe LNG technology will help us to ensure continuous operations in the Baltic Sea region by meeting the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) requirements, binding from the 1st January 2015. Skangass has shown great willingness to secure supply of LNG to the two new time chartered vessels and we are convinced that this will work swiftly when we go into operation”, says Satu Mattila, Chartering Manager at North European Oil Trade.