LNG Journal editor
Wison Offshore and Marine, the Chinese shipbuilding company and builder of the first floating LNG production barge set to be deployed in Argentina, has received approval from the American Bureau of Shipping for its latest Floating Natural Gas-to-Methanol facility, recalling previous methanol and LNG plans for the Tassie Shoal offshore Australia.
Wison Offshore, the operator of shipyards in the eastern Chinese port of Nantong and Zhoushan, said its latest facility was one of the most innovative solutions the company has developed for the offshore gas production industry.
“The fully integrated gas-to-methanol system is more cost-effective for ‘stranded’ natural gas production and can eliminate heavy upfront capital expenditure during offshore LNG production for our customers,” said the Chinese company. The topside design has been carried out by both Wison Offshore and its affiliate Wison Engineering.
The floating natural gas-to-methanol facility can be deployed to nearshore or offshore gas fields, with an annual capacity of 1.8 million tons of methanol and offers a storage capacity of up to 200,000 cubic metres.
The development of the Wison offshore plant recalled plans by a company called MEO Australia, now known as Melbana Energy, to tap into natural gas in the Tassie Shoal offshore northwest Australia to produce LNG and methanol. The proposal was cancelled in 2016.
Tassie Shoal is an area of shallow water in the Australian waters of the Timor Sea about 275 kilometres northwest of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
The Australian company had approvals to construct, install and operate a single plant known as the Tassie Shoal LNG project with 3 million tonnes per annum capacity and two separate small methanol plants with 1.75 MTPA of capacity.
Wison Offshore floating gas-to-methanol plant followed on for its completion in 2015 of the world’s first barge-based floating LNG liquefaction and storage facility.
The “Caribbean FLNG” was handed-over to a joint venture led by Belgian shipping line Exmar for a project on the Caribbean coast of Colombia that was since cancelled.
However, Argentina plans to deploy the FLNG barge at the port of Bahia Blanca in the second quarter of 2019 under an agreement with Exmar and the Argentine oil and gas producer Yacimientos Petroleiferos Fiscales (YPF).
The Chinese-built vessel will be renamed “Tango FLNG” to make the Argentines the first FLNG producing nation on the South American continent.
Weimin Chen, General Manager of Engineering at Wison Offshore, said the floating gas-to-methanol plant represented a successful collaboration between Wison and ABS.