Despite the recent period of low oil prices, supply of LNG is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. Long-planned projects are coming onstream, and new exports from the US indicate the country’s ambition to become a major supplier.
Although demand from many traditional LNG o take markets – Japan, Korea and Europe – shows little growth potential in the short term, emerging economies are continuing to record sharp rises in their energy needs.
The Floating Storage Regasifi cation Unit (FSRU) concept has demonstrated that it can provide a fast and cost-effective solution to serve these energy needs.
FSRUs offer multiple advantages over alternatives. Units can often be standardised and built in specialist shipyards, offering clear benefits from a cost perspective. Unlike many offshore or shipping assets, FSRUs generally are offered to the market on leased terms, allowing projects to be developed with very limited up-front cash from LNG importers.
FSRU projects already have demonstrated this short lead time, with LNG import facilities operational in less than 12 months and some in even less than six months. FSRUs can provide significant flexibility, serving growing and seasonal markets or even being deployed as a temporary solution whilst permanent land based facilities are being constructed.
Given both the current surplus of LNG and pressure towards more sustainable power and transport solutions, many industry stakeholders anticipate continued strong growth in the FSRU segment. This growth, however, will take the form of a variety of concepts, including regas barges, FSUs with barges or onshore regasification and large purpose-built FSRU concepts as well as the proven and tested LNG carrier concept with regasification on board.
By: Patrick Janssens, VP, Global Gas Solutions, ABS