|Exmar Excelerate Energy LP Orders LNGRV|
|The cost of the Energy Bridge is attractive|
|About The System|
|Northeast Gateway project|
|The scheduled March arrival of
the 138,000-cubic-meter capacity vessel Excelsior to the Gulf Gateway
Energy Bridge Deepwater Port in the Gulf of Mexico marks a series of
milestones in Excelerate Energy's regasification strategy. They
include: inaugural use of the first offshore LNG receiving terminal in
the world and the first new LNG terminal in the U.S. in over 20 years.
Excelerate Energy's proprietary Energy Bridge system features a combination of proven technologies and equipment in a new application, which represents an innovative step forward in LNG importation technology. Located south of New Orleans in 280 feet of water at West Cameron Block 603, the Deepwater Port will be capable of delivering baseload gas volumes of 500 MMcf/d.
The Energy Bridge system consists of a Submerged Turret Loading (STL) TM buoy system that is connected to a 1.93 mile pipeline leading to a metering platform. Two additional connecting pipelines, both less than four miles long, convey the natural gas to the existing Bluewater and Sea Robin Pipelines for transport to shore. Excelerate Energy President Kathleen Eisbrenner told P&GJ that there are many advantages to the Energy Bridge design, including environmental and safety advantages vs. traditional technology.
"The flexibility of our technology is often overlooked' she said. "Our Energy Bridge vessels can deliver natural gas in three ways.
First, as LNG like a conventional carrier; second, as natural gas through the buoy; and third, as natural gas via a high pressure gas manifold that can delivery directly into a gas pipeline, within a deepwater port. "Additionally, the timing from conception to operation is less than alternative technologies; we have a permit process of one year, plus one year for construction. So, we can bring new projects online in just over two-years." Noting that the permitting process for such facilities is difficult, Eisbrenner said, "Perhaps rightfully so. We hope the experience we’ve gained to date will help us continue to successfully permit new projects. Speedy access to market is the value we hope to create for our supply and market partners."
The cost of the Energy Bridge is attractive as well.
"Our Gulf Gateway facility cost $70 million, plus the cost of our first three ships, which totaled $160 million," Eisbrenner said. In comparison, the cost of a land-based LNG terminal could run as much as $500 million, without factoring in the cost for ships. There is also an advantage to the vessels not having to dock on U.S. shores.
The arriving vessels pick up LNG supplies from overseas liquefaction terminals, convert LNG back into gas, and use the buoy and mooring system to inject natural gas into offshore pipelines without ever having to dock on U.S. shores.
Eisbrenner noted that Excelerate expects its second Energy Bridge regasification vessel, Excellence, to arrive at the Deepwater Port in May and a third vessel, which has yet to be named, to be delivered in October 2006. All three vessels will have capacity to deliver approximately 2.9 Bcf of natural gas through the Deepwater Port.
About The System
Central to the success of the Energy Bridge is the Submerged Turret Loading (STL)TM buoy system that was developed and manufactured by Advanced Production and Loading AS of Norway. It was chosen for the Energy Bridge because of its service record. This technology has been proven through installations at eight fields in the North Sea, Norwegian Sea and Timor Sea over the past decade. Key characteristics include its ability to:
Connect in sea states up to six meters;
Operate independent of weather conditions (except hurricane conditions).
Disconnect rapidly and safety regardless of weather conditions; and
Endure 100-year storm conditions.
In a typical application, there are eight mooring lines attached to the STL buoy anchored to the seafloor using wire rope and chain segments. These mooring lines keep the buoy stationary and the vessel on station. The articulating upper segment of the buoy that comes into contact with the vessel allows it to weathervane to minimize ambient wind and current loads. When a vessel is regasifying, the resultant pressured natural gas flows from the vaporizers onboard the vessel through the annulus of the STL buoy and into a dynamic riser. Once the vessel completes the vaporization process, the STL buoy is released and allowed to re-submerge to a depth of about 35 meters - well below the draft of any ship traffic that might inadvertently stray into the area.
A Second LNG Deepwater Port
Excelerate plans to develop a second LNG deepwater port off the East Coast. The project, called Northeast Gateway, will be located in Massachusetts Bay off the coast of Boston in about 300 feet of water. This facility will be capable of delivering in excess of 400 MMcfd of incremental natural gas supplies that will complement existing pipeline and LNG terminal capacity in the area.
The Northeast Gateway project
Excelerate has started development activity using its proprietary Energy Bridge shipboard regasification technology. The Northeast Gateway project will consist of a dual buoy system to allow for baseload natural gas deliveries. This will involve the installation of two buoy and riser systems manufactured by Advanced Production and Loading, along with approximately 11.8 miles of 24-inch subsea pipeline. The latter will provide sufficient capacity to more than double project throughput in the future to over 800 MMcf/d. Plans call for Northeast Gateway to be connected to the New England gas grid through a subsea interconnect with the existing Hubline Pipeline owned by Algonquin Gas Transmission Co.
Excelerate plans to file a permit for the Northeast Gateway Energy Bridge project in May and place it in-service by the first quarter of 2007. P&GJ
Energy LP Orders LNGRV
Exmar confirmed a long-term charter parter with Excelerate Energy, the liquefied natural gas shipper and marketers based in Woodlands, Texas, of another liquefied natural gas regasification vessel (LNGRV). The vessel will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd (DSME) as DSME Hull No. 2254 and will be named the Explorer, to be owned 80 % by Exmar and 20 % by Excelerate. It will be built using the membrane containment system together with excelerate's Energy bridge Technology with a capacity of 150,900 cm. Deliver well be first quarter 2008. Excelerate anticipates using the shi to deliver regasified LNG to the Gulf Gateway -- the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Port.