Atlantic LNG constructed two LNG trains at the Point Fortin Refinery in early 2000. This was the first greenfield LNG plant to be built in the Western Hemisphere in 25 years. Of course markets have changed and now LNG plants are being constructed in sites all over the world. Since that time the LNG facility at Point Fortin Refinery has grown to include four trains.
The first train involved an investment of approximately $1bn with Bechtel Overseas Inc selected as the main contractor responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction and start up of operations. Train 1 was operational by 1999, uses the Philips cascade process and can handle 3.1mtpa (million tonnes per annum) of liquefaction and has two 102,000m³ LNG storage tanks.
The major shareholders in all four LNG trains are British Gas, British Petroleum, Repsol, ENI and PetroCanada.
POINT FORTIN REFINERY LNG PROJECT TIMESCALE
An agreement for expansion of the Atlantic LNG facility at Point Fortin, Trinidad, was signed on 13 March 2000. The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Atlantic LNG agreed on terms for a two-train expansion.
Site preparation began at the end of March 2000 and Train 2 was completed by March 2002. Train 2 can handle 3.4mtpa of liquefaction, uses the Philips cascade process and has a single 160,000m³ LNG storage tank. Costs of Trains 2 and 3 were combined at $1.1bn.
Train 3 was operational by April 2003 and can handle 3.4mtpa of liquefaction using the Philips optimised cascade process. The train shares the storage tank of Train 2. Train 4 was operational by December 2005 and cost an estimated $1.2bn. It uses the Philips optimised cascade process and can handle 5.2mtpa of liquefaction. This train has a single 160,000m³ storage tank.
All storage tanks were designed by Arup as double containment systems to resist seismic activity. BP Amoco, British Gas and their respective partners supply gas to the project and the LNG produced is intended for the Spanish and US markets.
"All storage tanks were designed by Arup as double containment systems to resist seismic activity."
Trains 2 and 3 have a combined production capacity of approximately 6.8mtpa. British Gas and its North Coast Marine Area Partners (NCMA), a partnership of British Gas, Petrotrin, the state-owned Trinidad Oil Company, Veba of Germany and AGIP of Italy, supply 50% of the required gas for Train 2.
BG's feed gas for Train 3 comes from NCMA and ECMA. Train 4 receives gas from NCMA, ECMA, and the central block.
While 3.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas has been earmarked to support Train 1 production over a 20-year period, the two-train expansion proposes to utilise some 7.7tcf of gas over a similar 20-year period. Current proven and probable reserves of natural gas in Trinidad and Tobago are estimated at 30.7tcf. Experts estimate that another 40tcf of gas reserves may exist and this will keep Trains 3 and 4 busy for many years to come.
Sonat Energy Services, a subsidiary of the Houston-based El Paso, which is a major operator of natural gas pipelines in the southeast USA, purchases most of the output share of British Gas and its NCMA partners from Point Fortin Exports Limited. El Paso reactivated its Elba Island LNG import terminal in Georgia, USA in order to take the Trinidad-produced LNG from Train 3.
Repsol and its affiliate, Enagas, purchases most of the BP output share of Trains 2 and 3, increasing their take of Trinidad LNG from 1.2mmtpa to 5mmtpa. The Repsol product is destined for the Spanish market for use in both the conventional gas market and for power generation. Cabot, which currently takes 60% of Train 1 product, also purchases LNG from the expansion. Train 4 supplies Lake Charles LNG terminal in the USA.
"Current proven and probable reserves of natural gas in Trinidad and Tobago are estimated at 30.7tcf."
Bechtel is a global engineering-construction organisation, providing premier services to develop, engineer, build, operate, and manage customers' capital projects and facilities worldwide. Bechtel Overseas Inc has utilised the Phillips optimised cascade LNG process developed by the Phillips Petroleum Company.
ATLANTIC LNG COMPANY
Atlantic LNG Company of Trinidad and Tobago was formed in July 1995 to develop a liquefied natural gas plant in the Caribbean. One local company NGC (National Gas Company) of Trinidad and Tobago in partnership with five international companies created the venture:
- BP Amoco Trinidad (LNG) BV
- British Gas Trinidad LNG Limited
- Repsol LNG Port Spain BV
- Cabot Trinidad LNG Limited