The Elba Island LNG terminal is built on an 840-acre private island near Savannah, Georgia, US.
Built in 1978, the terminal is spread over 140 acres of the island. Southern LNG, a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation, owns and operates the terminal.
The terminal receives natural gas from Trinidad and Tobago and Egypt and supplies the re-gasified LNG to consumers of Southern LNG. It was put on standby in the 1980s and re-commissioned in 2001 as the demand for LNG increased and gas imports from Canada were projected to decrease.
In 2003, the second phase of expansion at the terminal was launched. The project increased the sendout capacity of the terminal from 540m cubic feet per day (mcfd) to 1.2bn cubic feet of natural gas per day (bcfd).
“Elba Island LNG terminal includes three double-walled steel LNG storage tanks.”
A 160,000mÂ³ full containment storage tank was also added to increase the storage capacity of the terminal by 80% to 7.3bn cubic feet (bcf). The storage tank has a diameter of 258ft and a height of 123ft. The Phase II expansion project also included installation of boil off compression equipment and two LNG unloading stations.
In 2005, a third phase of expansion of the terminal was announced to further increase its capacity.
Southern LNG entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of BG Group, BG LNG Services, for the expansion project.
The third phase is divided into two parts, Phase IIIA and Phase IIIB, and includes the expansion of the Elba Express pipeline. Southern LNG received approval for the third phase from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in September 2007. Total cost of the phase is estimated at $900m.
Phase IIIA was completed and put into service in July 2010. It included the addition of a storage tank with a capacity of 4.2bcf. The double wall storage tank commissioned in 2010 has an outer diameter of 289ft and is 123ft high.
Three new vaporiser units were added during Phase IIIA to increase the sendout capacity of the terminal. The new vaporiser systems are similar to the ones already installed at the facility. The vaporiser units increased the sendout capacity of the terminal from 1.2bcfd to 1.75bcfd.
The north and south docking facilities of the terminal were also modified to accommodate new, bigger LNG ships. The modifications help in unloading two ships simultaneously. Other facilities installed at the terminal include three submerged combustion vaporisers, two booster pumps, three secondary pumps and a metering system.
Phase IIIB, which is optional, will include the addition of a 4.2bcf storage tank.
The Elba Island LNG terminal includes three double-walled steel LNG storage tanks with a total capacity of 1.2m barrels of LNG. Other facilities include an unloading dock featuring berthing and mooring dolphins and LNG unloading arms. LNG vessels can access the terminal through a deepwater channel at the Port of Savannah.
Elba Express pipeline route
The re-gasified LNG is transported to regions in the south-eastern and eastern United States by the Elba Express pipeline.
“Expansion of the Elba Express pipeline will expand its capacity to 1.165bcfd.”
The 190-mile pipeline has diameters of 36in and 42in and travels north-west. It has a design capacity of 945mmcfd and was put into service in March 2010. The pipeline interconnects with other pipelines such as the Transco Pipeline along its route.
Expansion of the Elba Express pipeline will expand its capacity to 1.165bcfd. The expanded pipeline is expected to be in service in January 2014.
- The entire capacity of the terminal is contracted to BG LNG Services and Shell Oil for over 20 years.
- The terminal receives LNG from Shell’s Qatargas IV project. BG also imports LNG from the Atlantic Basin and Equatorial Guinea.
The terminal was designed by Bechtel. The company also constructed the processing equipment and piping of the terminal. Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) designed and built the LNG storage tanks of the facility. The docking facilities were designed by Raymond Technical Facilities and constructed by Gulf Foundations.
In June 2003, CB&I were awarded a contract for the second phase of the terminal expansion. Scope of work for CB&I included construction of the 160,000mÂ³ storage tank and other facilities.
CB&I were awarded the Phase IIIA expansion project in 2007. Scope of work under the $200m contract included construction of a storage tank, installation of a vapour handling system and carrying out all related electrical, mechanical and controls works.