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Air Liquide supplies a Turbo-Brayton cryogenic unit for a coastal liquefied natural gas depot in Sardinia

  • Marine

In Sardinia (Italy), the first coastal liquefied natural gas storage facility designed and built by Gas and Heat spa, which has just been completed, has chosen Air Liquide's Turbo-Brayton cryogenic solution to keep the LNG in a liquid state in the storage site. This LNG terminal aims to supply natural gas to produce the energy needed by local industries, to fuel trucks and to refuel ships. The terminal will eventually be connected to the island's natural gas network.

To take advantage of the growing demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) stimulated by its low environmental impact, Gas and Heat Spa, an Italian company, has designed and built the first authorized coastal Small Scale LNG depot in Italy with a capacity of 9,000 m3. With the work completed, Gas and Heat is currently testing the facility prior to delivery to Higas, the owner of the facility.

Air Liquide has developed a natural gas reliquefaction technology that will be used on the site. Indeed, natural gas must be kept in a liquid state at a temperature of -160°C, as part of it can evaporate in storage. Manufactured in the workshops of Air Liquide's Campus Technologies Grenoble in 2020, the cryogenic unit joined the Sardinian coastal depot at the end of the year. Start-up has been completed, and the unit is operational.

The solution works by pumping the LNG, which is then subjected to a sub-cooling process before being returned to the tank, thus avoiding evaporation. Air Liquide's cryogenic solution is simple, reliable and ready to use. Above all, it requires maintenance only every 5 years.

Designed to withstand outdoor use in a saline atmosphere, the Turbo-Brayton unit chosen for the project is a TBF-350 capable of reliquefying half a ton of LNG per hour according to the needs of the depot. It is part of a complete range covering capacities up to more than 3 t/h.

This project opens a new market for Air Liquide's Turbo-Brayton cryogenic units, with the emergence of the small-scale LNG terminals market. In addition, the Group has already sold more than 50 units for ships worldwide.

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