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Operations and major projects

LNG rapid refuelling for methane tankers is up and running


The work enabling Dunkerque LNG customers to take advantage of rapid refuelling service for their tankers is now complete. This service significantly reduces the stopover time when reloading.

This project became a necessity when the LNG terminal was commissioned: adapt the infrastructure to offer faster refuelling of LNG tankers. The maximum reloading flow-rate has been raised from 4,000 m3 per hour to 8,800 m3 which means the ships are stopped for half as long. 'It is a big advantage for our customers,' notes Juan Vazquez, General Manager of Dunkerque LNG. 'It is extremely costly to transport LNG from the production site to the point of consumption. Reloading a tanker faster means less down time for the ship and, therefore, major savings for our customers. With a flow-rate of 4,000 m3 per hour, it took 40 hours to reload a tanker. Now, at 8,800 m3 per hour, it only takes 20 hours.'

This new service required large-scale renovation work. Eight pumps were replaced on tanks 1 and 2. The increase in refuelling speed also causes a rise in the gas vapour that must be recovered then treated before being sent to the gas transmission network. 'That is why we had to install an additional compressor; now we can process 48 tonnes of gas per hour instead of the previous rate of 30,' explains Juan Vazquez.

The tests designed to verify that the new equipment behaves properly have just been completed. The service, which is a valuable tool for flexibility, is now available.

Article présenté sur la lettre d'information : Mars 2019


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