LNG

The World’s Top Liquefied Natural Gas Exporters

The World’s Top Liquefied Natural Gas Exporters.jpg

Natural gas is one of the most popular energy sources at the moment.  It is environmentally friendly and inexpensive.  To transport natural gas, it is converted to its liquefied form, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

While the entire world is using natural gas, where is it all coming from?  Here are the top 8 exporters of LNG found around the world.

1.     Qatar


Qatar sits on the largest natural gas reserves on the planet.  The city is tiny, with only 300,000 residents.  Its economy relies heavily on immigrants to run their natural gas led economy.  At this point 90% of their workforce are Expats.

2.     Australia


Despite South Australia’s energy crisis, Australia has a substantial offshore natural gas reserve.  Australia has doubled their LNG output since 2004.

3.     Malaysia


Malaysia exported 10% of the global supply of natural gas.  For three decades, Malaysia and Thailand have worked together on LNG assets and share the profits.

4.     Nigeria


Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy, exporting 7.2% of the world’s LNG. 

5.     Indonesia

 


Indonesia is better known as a vacation destination than a natural gas hub, but it exported 6.4% of the world’s LNG.

Liquefied Natural Gas is a hot topic, and LNG facilities are becoming more and more popular.  They also need to be protected from fire.  Learn more about fire protection needs of LNG facilities here.

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Case Study - LNG Import Facility

LNG fire protection

Contributor:  Paul Felch,  Project Manager of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director of The Moran Group


What started as a fairly standard project, turned complex when Mother Nature turned on it. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems used their expertise, resources, and perpetual objective for customer satisfaction to skillfully complete a project despite continuous adversity.

One of the Nation's Largest Liquefied Natural Gas Import Facilities


Located on the Chesapeake Bay in Lusby, Maryland, this Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import facility connects to one gas pipeline and two gas transmissions to provide 1.8 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of LNG a day, making this facility the largest LNG importer in the country. One Bcf alone is capable of supplying 3.4 million homes with energy. As an LNG import facility supplying energy to millions of homes a day, a fire could be catastrophic.

Protecting People, Plant, and Production


This LNG import facility understands the importance of preeminent fire protection. To prevent any fire protection risk, the plant chose to find a solution to reduce the odds of an underground fire main leak in the aging fire main piping at the first stage pumps and cold blower buildings. These structures are an integral part of operating five of seven LNG tanks. An underground leak in that area would risk the LNG lines and impair fire protection. It was prudent to find a fire protection solution provider with expertise in high risk environments.

The Need for Paramount Fire Protection


Recognizing the need for paramount fire protection, the LNG import facility chose F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems to provide solutions to their fire protection needs. To guarantee successful fire protection at the first stage pumps and cold blower buildings, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems redirected the existing underground fire water mains, which included divorcing and capping existing mains and providing one new hydrant and water monitor. Additionally, they replaced two aging deluge valves and converted the dry pilot deluge detection system into a linear heat detection system. The facility required welded pipes, as opposed to the typical industry standard use of PVC-based piping, and, to ensure quality control, x-rayed each weld.

Complete Project Despite Unusual Events

With a working facility, production is at risk during a fire protection solution installation. It was imperative to keep installation time to a minimum. Paul Felch, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems Project Manager said, "We had to get the system back up and running ASAP so the customer was fully protected." F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems ably completed the project, despite the unusual circumstances.

The nature of an underground installation is innately more involved than standard installations. An excavation contractor needed to be hired to dig trenches for the underground installation. Whenever a project has an underground component, there are always unforeseen obstacles that arise. Upon excavation, it was noted that on-site customization was needed. This was the first of several unexpected issues that would take place during the project.

 

It could not have been predicted that following the excavation, three natural disasters would follow. To begin, on August 12, 2011, torrential rains pounded Maryland, with some areas getting as much as 6 inches of rain in one day, caving in the trenches. Following the downpour, on August 23, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the east coast and Mid-Atlantic regions. It was tied as the highest magnitude earthquake east of the Rocky Mountains. Only a few days later, on August 27, 2011, Hurricane Irene struck, grossing the highest damage costs, $7 billion, on record and taking the lives of 56 people.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems Finds Solutions in Extenuating Circumstances

The unusual circumstances of this project were unforeseen, but with thirty years of experience, F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems took each problem in stride and completed the project.

F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems first had to resolve the obstacles that were found underground. They cut 10" pipe runs to miss the various underground obstacles that were encountered, quickly resolving the issue.

Underground hindrances were minor issues compared to the three natural disasters that plagued the project. The first, a torrential downpour, caved in the trenches for the underground installation. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems had to re-dig the trenches, adding reinforced walls, keeping safety as a priority.

Only eleven days later, an earthquake hit Maryland followed four days later by Hurricane Irene. F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems personnel camped out, waiting to resume the project, resulting in only a short suspension of installation.

Despite the surge of barriers F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems faced throughout the project, they completed the project and delivered an impeccable result. Due to F.E. Moran Special Hazard System's perseverance, expertise, and professionalism, the LNG import facility now has a solution to their fire protection needs.

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Storing Flammable Liquids: How to Make the Complexities of NFPA 30 Simple

flammable liquid

Contributor: Andy Aleksich, Senior Designer of F.E. Moran Special Hazard Systems
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director of The Moran Group

On November 22, 2006, a malevolent explosion turned the town of Danvers, MA upside down. The explosion started in a chemical manufacturing plant, destroying it. The subsequent fires had far-reaching effects; it destroyed twenty-four homes, six business, and dozens of boats at a nearby marina. At least ten residents were hospitalized as a direct result of the explosion, and over 300 residents in the nearby neighborhood were evacuated. This disaster spurred the residents of Danvers, MA to establish community groups' Safe Area for Everyone (SAFE) and re-established the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) determined that the explosion was fueled by escaped vapor from a 2,000-gallon tank of highly flammable liquid. The ensuing fire blazed for seventeen hours.

It was discovered that although it is required for chemical plants that store flammable liquid to be inspected every year by the local fire department, the Danvers plant had not been inspected for four years. Additionally, the facility was not storing the flammable liquid in compliance with OSHA, Massachusetts fire code, or NFPA requirements. However, because the Massachusetts fire code does not require the application of NFPA 30 retroactively, the plant was not directly non-compliant. The chemical plant had a foam/water fire sprinkler system. This type of system is meant to work in conjunction with a fire alarm box that contacts the fire department. However, the chemical plant did not have a fire alarm box, so the fire department was not notified, allowing the conflagration to continue for seventeen hours. The CSB recommended the city of Danvers adapt the NFPA 30 code. Had they taken the advice, the chemical plant would have been in direct violation. They are not the only ones. Everyday facilities are cited for violating this code. Why are NFPA 30 violations so prevalent?

 

Insurance Underwriters are Focusing on NFPA 30

Currently, insurance underwriters are paying close attention to NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids. In recent years, many plants have received written recommendations by risk management audits to revise the way flammable liquids and chemicals are being stored. Plants have the difficult task of combining the requirements from the NFPA, local authorities, and insurers into one fire protection solution. In some cases, one authority has precedence over another in one aspect of fire protection, but not all. For example, if a fire protection solution has been designed, developed, and tested by an approved testing facility, but does not meet NFPA requirement, if the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) approves, it becomes compliant with NFPA. The complexity of NFPA 30 often results in unintentional non-compliancy.

NFPA 30 is Complex

To give this code perspective, we will compare it to NFPA 13, The Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems. NFPA 13 is a code used for every type of Fire Sprinkler System solution.
In this code, there are 26 chapters. In NFPA 30, which has a much smaller population of users, there are 29 chapters, 14 annexes, 1 chart, and 1 form.

To determine each fire protection need, according to NFPA 30, facilities must answer a series of questions before coming to a conclusion. For example, to find out how high a facility can store flammable liquids in vertical stacks, facilities must research and answer the following questions:

1. Is it a liquid (fluidity, viscosity, water-miscible)?
2. What type of liquid is it (flammable, combustible, flash points, boiling points, etc)?
3. What is the liquid classification (IA, IB, II, III, IIIA, IIIB)?
4. What type of occupancy is the liquid stored in (healthcare facility, industrial, processing plant, liquid storage warehouse, etc)?
5. What type of container is the liquid stored in (drums, portable tanks, relieving, non-relieving, immediate bulk containers, etc)?
6. Is there an automatic sprinkler system protecting the space (design flow rate, density, foam/water, etc)?
7. What is the container arrangement (palletized, rack, maximum allowable quantity, etc)?

For each different liquid storage fire protection solution - sprinklers, detection, and a wide-array of physical storage requirements - several questions must be researched and answered. This can be extremely burdensome for facility staff with a variety of responsibilities.

Solution

With a combination of fire protection professionals and NFPA 30 provided charts and forms, it is possible to apply this extremely complicated code. If a facility chooses to take on this task independently, it is recommended to utilize figures 16.4.1(a), 16.4.1(b), and 16.4.1(c) (see below) from NFPA 30 to determine the correct section of chapter 16 to apply to the facility's fire protection solution.

 

However, even with the use of charts, many sections of the code have numerous exceptions and refer to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) as the point of reference.

It is advised that facilities do not attempt to apply the complicated NFPA 30 code on their own. Hire a fire protection solution provider that has a relationship with the AHJ and underwriters who can provide their expertise to ensure code compliancy. With the help of one simple seven question form (see below) and a fire protection solution provider, facilities can feel certain their buildings are code compliant.

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