The earth has enormous quantities of natural gas, but much of it is in areas far from where the gas is needed. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is one of the cleanest fossil fuels and is being widely adopted around the world in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help combat global warming. To move the fuel across oceans, natural gas is converted into LNG.
As Hong Kong implements its plans to significantly reduce carbon intensity in line with the Hong Kong Climate Action 2030+ report, the opening of the first offshore LNG Terminal Jetty in the Special Administrative Region using Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) technology is a major step to transitioning to a cleaner energy source for its future power needs.
The offshore LNG Terminal is a double berth jetty with subsea pipelines that connect to the gas receiving stations (GRS) at the Black Point Power Station in the New Territories and the Lamma Power Station.
OFFSHORE LNG RECEIVING TERMINAL KEY COMPONENTS AND PROCESS OVERVIEW
Natural gas makes it possible to comply with the new environmental standards. Compared with diesel, natural gas fuel represents the following reductions:
As part of the development of the LNG terminal, located in offshore waters to the east of the Soko Islands, Hongkong United Dockyards (HUD) has successfully tendered to build, own and operate two standby support vessels, providing around the clock safety and security services of marine operations at the offshore facility. One of the roles of the tugs will be to deploy for rapid evacuation of the terminal, in the event of an emergency.
Hongkong Salvage & Towage, a division of HUD and renowned in the industry for providing multidisciplinary marine services, will provide communications links to the vessels’ surveillance system via the Control Centre. This system will provide the crew with real-time local marine traffic information and weather reports to enable safety preparedness and immediate response and assistance.
The state-of-the-art vessels will be powered by a dual LNG-Marine Gas Oil fuel system to comply with reduced emission goals, which include fewer particulates while nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide levels will be reduced by 80 percent. The specialist vessels, to be operated by HUD, are under construction at Cheoy Lee Shipyards Ltd in Zhuhai, China.
Supporting the Hong Kong Government’s 2030+ report which recommends an increase in natural gas for power generation, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited (CLP) and The Hongkong Electric Company, Limited (HK Electric) are jointly building the offshore LNG terminal. Hong Kong has no indigenous energy resources and all energy for the city needs to be imported from overseas.
Dependable fuel sources are critical to maintaining a reliable power supply for the Hong Kong population, while providing environmental benefits. Furthermore, long-term natural gas supply stability by diversifying supply sources, and enabling procurement of natural gas at competitive prices from the global market is vital to remain the city’s sustainable development.
The HKSAR Government will work closely with CLP and HK Electric; to ensure they can secure adequate supplies of natural gas and put the required infrastructure in place in the coming decade to handle the larger quantities of natural gas that will be required to be imported into Hong Kong to meet emissions targets. The LNG Terminal can also supply other users with natural gas, such as for marine transportation.
As Hong Kong builds up its infrastructure to accommodate imports of LNG, the city is part of a global movement to reduce reliance on coal and oil and use natural gas. Shell plc forecasts that global demand will grow to 700 million tons a year by 2040, a 90 percent increase when compared to 2021, according to an article published in Natural Gas Intelligence.
In Shell’s LNG Outlook the company said that Asia is expected to consume most of the growth as ‘domestic gas production declines, regional economies grow and LNG replaces higher-emission energy sources, helping to tackle concerns over air quality and to help progress toward carbon emissions targets.’
The demand for natural gas in the Asia-Pacific region is ‘booming’ with a ‘12 percent rise in gas demand in China.’
More countries have announced net zero-emission targets and that had put extra pressure to reduce national emission targets. Natural gas is an important part of the transition to cleaner energy along with renewable energy sources and solutions.
In the medium-term LNG is likely to play an important role, along with renewable energy, to ensure energy security.