New England meets peak natural gas demand with offshore LNG facility set up in 2008

Monday, 11 February 2019
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US natural gas supply flows to meet the winter season peak demand in New England has been helped by the Northeast Gateway deepwater LNG import facility using floating storage and regasification units in Massachusetts Bay offshore Boston.

The Northeast Gateway is owned and operated by Excelerate Energy, the US specialist in floating LNG import projects.

In addition to the New England facility, Excelerate has established more than a dozen LNG import facilities in nations in South America, the Middle East and Asia.

Excelerate said its Northeast Gateway reached a peak send-out flow rate of more than 800,000 million cubic metres per day of LNG on February 1, 2019, during the recent freezing weather in the region.

The company said this was a first for the terminal and was completed by two of Excelerate’s FSRUs, the “Exemplar” and the “Express”, discharging in parallel through the company’s proprietary offshore buoys.

Excelerate explained that during the coldest days of the year, demand for natural gas from residential customers rises in New England.

Historically, during these times, as natural gas deliverability becomes constrained in natural gas pipelines, power generators have to burn fuels such as oil.

“This year, LNG imports from the Northeast Gateway facility have complimented the system by suppling energy during this peak demand, allowing generators to continue burning natural gas,” stated Excelerate.

At a flow rate of 800,000 million British thermal units per day, this represents approximately the average gas demand of power generators in the region during the recent January-February winter cold periods.

“Excelerate’s Northeast Gateway has helped New England prepare for the winter months by supplying natural gas to meet the increased energy demand of the region,” said Excelerate’s Managing Director Steven Kobos.

“Deliveries of LNG directly into the Algonquin pipeline system helps to bring much-needed market stability and fuel security to the Northeast,” added Kobos.

The Northeast Gateway was first set up and commissioned more than 10 year ago about 20 kilometres offshore Boston.

The terminal consists of a dual submerged turret-loading buoy system which allows for the connection of the FSRUs that have been specifically designed to meet the conditions of the North Atlantic.

FSRUs act, in all aspects, like a land-based terminal and have the onboard capability to vaporize LNG and deliver natural gas directly into the existing subsea HubLine pipeline operated by Enbridge Inc.’s Algonquin Gas Transmission.

Excelerate has established more than a dozen LNG import facilities for FSRUs around the world and the most recent was in the Asian nation of Bangladesh in 2018.

The Moheshkhali Island venture was co-developed by Excelerate, national energy company PetroBangla and the International Finance Corporation, part of World Bank Group.

The deployment of Excelerate's vessel, the “Excellence”, enabled Bangladesh to have the means to import around 3.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG.

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