Honeywell to provide safety controls for Colombia floating LNG liquefaction

Honeywell will provide an integrated control and safety system (ICSS) for the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction, regasification and storage unit (FLRSU) for the Exmar-Pacific Rubialis project located offshore Colombia.

With the surge in demand for alternative cleaner energy, the project will help to supply valuable natural gas to energy users globally, Honeywell said in its Wednesday announcement, noting that floating facilities allow companies to unlock difficult-to-reach gas reserves.

“Honeywell’s extensive experience in LNG shipping and offshore was a key factor for our partners in this project,” said David Higgins, marine director for Honeywell Process Solutions. “We are working with Black & Veatch on topside pre-treatment and liquefaction processes and with Wison for the barge, cargo tanks and utilities. Thus, we are bringing our process controls and marine experience together in this groundbreaking project which will be the first to produce LNG in the offshore environment.”

The vessel is a non-propelled barge equipped to convert natural gas into LNG. It is also able to store the LNG for offloading to shuttle tankers or LNG carriers. Liquefied natural gas takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in a gaseous state and allows companies like Exmar to more efficiently transport the product to its end-customers.

“While the industry continues to discuss the potential of floating LNG facilities in bringing new sources of clean energy to market, this partnership enables us to bring the right technology and approach to make production of LNG at sea a commercial reality,” said Greg Wayne, project manager for Black & Veatch. “We chose Honeywell because of its strong presence in LNG marine applications.”

The FLRSU will be constructed at Wison Offshore & Marine’s fabrication yard in Nantong, China, with Black & Veatch providing the topside LNG plant design as well as LNG equipment and components.

International ship management group Exmar will own and operate the FLRSU in the Caribbean Sea starting in the first quarter of 2015.

“We are extremely pleased to introduce this innovation into the LNG industry,” said Exmar CEO Nicolas Saverys. “Exmar is the first operator to do re-gasification onboard a ship, and we are the first one doing ship-to-ship liquid transfer. Now, with the FLRSU, we will be the first one to do floating LNG liquefaction, enabling us to bring previously-untapped gas to consumers at a time when the world wants cleaner fuels.”

Honeywell’s ICSS solution is based on the company’s Experion process knowledge system (PKS). The critical ICSS solution will manage control and safety operations of the topside and hull and also monitor operational safety during cargo handling. Additionally, closed-circuit television, and fire and gas detectors will be integrated with the system.

“This project is a ground-breaking effort for the industry, and Wison is pleased to work with Honeywell and Black & Veatch to assemble the best technological team possible to ensure that this facility is capable of performing to the level Exmar requires," said Dr. L. Dwayne Breaux, executive vice president of Wison Offshore & Marine.

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