Petronas, which holds a stake in the Dragon LNG venture to deliver into the UK by the start of 2008, expects its MLNG sunsidiary to complete the whole upgrade, or debottlenecking, within three years, delegates were told at the LNG 15 Conference taking place in Barcelona, Spain.
The MLNG programme comes at a time when demand for the natural gas fuel is outstripping supply and is likely to lead to new supply contracts or spot cargo buying opportunities for existing customers and for some of the growing number of new LNG consuming nations.
The MLNG Dua plant comprises three identical LNG process Trains using the propane precooled liquefaction process. Utilities are provided by adjacent facilities.
The project includes "the novel addition of a new extended end flash unit, and uprating some of the existing equipment including the propane and mixed refrigerant refrigeration systems and associated gas turbine drivers," MLNG said.
Project execution for each Train includes installation of new equipment, modification of existing equipment and installation of tie-ins during scheduled shutdowns.
Installation work outside shutdowns is being carried out as much as possible to minimize the offline period.
MLNG said it had several features which were considered novel for LNG plants at the time of construction. These included: Use of frame 6 and frame 7 gas turbine mechanical drives; steam helper turbines; hydraulic expanders for pressure let-down in LNG and heavy MCR; axial compressor for low pressure MCR; and heat recovery from gas turbine exhaust, and hybrid air and water cooling.
"MNG Dua is being debottlenecked to meet a higher export demand of LNG," the company said. "Increased production is achieved by the uprating of power available to the main refrigeration C3 and MCR systems and the addition of a new (extended) end flash unit.
"Existing process and utilities systems are checked for new operation and modified as required, including equipment, valves, relief valves, piping, etc. Where possible, replacement of existing equipment is avoided and changes are limited to simple modifications. Additional equipment is added to existing units only where absolutely necessary," the company said.
The front-end engineering and design phase of the project was carried out by Foster Wheeler and its local partner, OGP, a subsidiary of Petronas, and supported by an Owner/MLNG Project Management Team.
MLNG has also formed an Integrated Owner Project Management Team (IOPMT) to execute the work, made up of MLNG and contract personnel supported by Shell Global Solutions, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell.