Utilization on the first new-built FLNG facility in Africa

NEA off-gas compressor used in Mozambique

When the first new built floating facility for the production, liquefaction and storage of natural gas (FLNG) in Africa is commissioned in 2022, NEUMAN & ESSER (NEA) will also be on-board. The production of natural gas is then planned on the Coral gas field in the Rovuma Basin, some 65km from the Mozambique coast. “Using the two NEA reciprocating compressor systems from Übach-Palenberg, residual gas which develops during natural gas production will be compressed on the FLNG platform, where it can be re-used as propellant gas for gas turbines, thus securing the electricity supply for the vessel”, as Franz-Josef Ritzen, Managing Director NEA Deutschland explains. Since August 2017, NEUMAN & ESSER employees have been working together closely with TP JGC Coral France, the Joint Venture of TechnipFMC and JGC Holdings Corporation on the compressor systems for the Coral Sul FLNG which was delivered in the end of November.

“This project is a milestone in the LNG offshore area. Coral Sul is an excellent reference and provides a basis for future projects”, as Guido Harsch from Sales is happy to report. Depending on the onshore and offshore application, NEA has three compressor types in its portfolio for the LNG sector: the BOG compressor, the send-out compressor and the fuel gas compressor. Two identical systems are used in Coral gas field with a horizontal, dry-running Type 1+1 TZL 130 NEA piston compressor. The system has 100 percent redundancy for security against downtimes. “The compressor is used as an off-gas compressor, it processes residual gas which decomposes as drive gas during natural gas production. It recycles the waste gas in order to drive gas turbines on the Coral Sul FLNG and ensures that they are not combusted and have to be discharged into the atmosphere”, as Dennis Bauer, Product Manager at NEA Deutschland says. In addition to the customer’s requirements, also Marine classification 1A from Lloyd’s Register of Shipping specifications must be met. As he continues to explain, great importance is attached to the documentation and additional material testing made.

The two NEA off-gas compressor systems will be located on one of the vessel’s upper deck levels, which is planned to produce 3.4 million tons’ natural gas per annum. The Project operator on behalf of the Area 4 Partners, the Italian energy company Eni, uses turbo compressors for the natural gas liquefaction process. On board the vessel constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries, the natural gas is then liquefied at -160°C and stored prior to further transportation by berthing vessels. The natural gas occurrences near Mozambique were discovered in 2012, some 200km north-east of Pemba. Area 4 is operated by Mozambique Rovuma Venture S.p.A. (MRV), an incorporated joint venture company owned by Eni, ExxonMobil and CNPC, which holds 70 percent participation interest in Area 4 Exploration and Production Concession Contract. The other Area 4 Partners, Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos E.P., Kogas and Galp Energia each hold a 10 percent share. 

Not only has NEUMAN & ESSER succeeded in establishing itself further in the LNG area with the Coral South project, collaboration with the Joint Venture which includes Japanese Company has also brought NEUMAN & ESSER a further step forward on the Japanese market. “We were also able to convince JGC Holdings Corporation with our past projects”, as Guido Harsch states. During the course of the project, NEA employees were frequently on-site and had ongoing contact with the customer, as Harsch continues. “Japanese customers usually attach particularly great importance to this personal support.” 

In addition to PRELUDE and EXPLORER, Coral South is one of the latest NEA applications in the offshore area. A dry-running TDS 30 piston compressor on the FLNG PRELUDE in Australia ensures that the turbo compressors used to produce natural gas are also able to maintain the pressure in standstill mode. On the other hand, the FSRU system for the LNG tanker EXPLORER, anchored in Dubai, is operating using an NEA send-out compressor. Moreover, two large compressor systems for vapor recovery have been in operation on an oil platform in the Persian Gulf since 2010. NEUMAN & ESSER’s initial experience in the offshore area dates back to the 1980s. “NEA then realized more and more projects in this area up into the new millennium and delivered increasing quantities for seismic vessels. We then combined the knowledge gained from these projects with our LNG knowledge in order to push forward into the offshore FLNG market in 2000”, as Franz-Josef-Ritzen regards several NEA references. Thus, NEA USA was able to get an offshore compressor system weighing 150t off the ground to its location of use in February 2016. Both identically constructed compressor systems incorporate fast-running, single stage Type NEA 1SZL250hs compressors which compress a methane-gas mix from 85 barg to 130 barg at a flow rate of 45,000 Nm³/h.