By TOM FOWLER
Shell will build plants in Louisiana and Canada to produce
liquefied natural gas as a fuel for heavy trucks and large
ships, the company said Tuesday.
The LNG terminals are among the latest efforts by energy
companies to create greater demand for what is now a glut of natural
gas in North America.
Shell, one of the largest gas producers in the US, will
build the facilities in Geismar, Louisiana,
along the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge, and in
Sarnia, Ontario, on the southern shore of Lake Huron just east
Each plant will be able to produce 250,000 tpy of LNG
by chilling natural
gas to negative 260 degrees so it can be compressed into a
liquid and stored in high-pressure insulated tanks.
The facilities will be relatively small
compared with other natural gas liquefaction terminals around
the world, such as those in Qatar, but they will represent a
doubling of the liquefied-gas manufacturing capacity in the US
and Canada, said James Burns, Shell's general manager for LNG
fuels in the Americas.
Natural gas is used as a transportation fuel in some parts
of the world, mostly for fleets of vehicles like buses and
garbage trucks which use centralized refueling stations.
gas is more widely used than LNG, but LNG has proven to be
effective for very large trucks that drive great distances.
Few ships now run on LNG, according to The Lloyd's Register
Group. But the fleet is expected to grow because of increasing
environmental restrictions in the most polluted ports and the
improving cost competitiveness of LNG compared with oil.
A Great Lakes cargo-ship operator has signed on as a future
LNG customer, Mr. Burns said. Shell is also planning to operate
three supply vessels in the Gulf of Mexico that will run on LNG,
and it is in the process of converting some of its land-based
drilling rigs to run on the fuel, rather than diesel.
The facilities are expected to take
about three years to complete. Shell would not disclose the
cost of the projects.
Dow Jones Newswires