Golar Power recognises the benefits LNG could have on the energy sector.
Golar LNG formed Golar Power to offer integrated downstream solutions and grow LNG-based opportunities globally.
The joint venture with Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners has created several innovations to make this possible by owning and operating floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) as well as the associated terminal and power generation infrastructure. Many countries in Asia still rely on diesel or coal to generate electricity despite the high costs and pollution these power sources bring. Alternatively, natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available and is a safe, sustainable alternative with an abundance of global reserves.
Recognising the benefits LNG could have on the energy sector, Golar Power continues to develop opportunities in downstream power projects. The firm is leveraging its expertise in floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) as well as import terminal and pipeline infrastructure to create innovative LNG energy solutions.
“We enable underserved countries and regions to access and to utilise the superior benefits of LNG within the energy matrix. It is worth noting that new power projects are being designed to cater specifically for the LNG solutions Golar Power proposes, standing as a confirmation of our processes effectiveness and reliability over the project’s lifetime,” Mr Robert Carter, Golar Power’s Chief Commercial Officer, explains.
He notes that LNG-supplied power can have the greatest impact in countries depending extensively on imported coal and petroleum fuels. Lacking alternatives, several countries in Southeast Asia relying on diesel power generation fall into that group. At the moment, rising fuel prices prevent it from being a cost effective solution
“New policies are driving practical changes in the power sector, steering countries away from those fuels to find substitutes. As renewable energies lack scalable storage technology today, and because some countries are reluctant to adopt nuclear energy due to safety considerations, natural gas is being considered as an alternative that bridges those gaps,” Mr Carter says. “LNG’s impact is therefore linked to the scale of the switching opportunity, as can be seen in China that is now the second largest LNG importer.”
And while the environmental benefits of using LNG instead of diesel are well known and scientifically proven, the cost benefits and reliability of LNG power generation can be significant and isn’t widely realised.
“From a cost perspective, regasified LNG has proven its reliability as a fuel for power generation, providing flexibility, scalability and environmental permitting over diesel. In some global markets, we see the cost-saving potential of LNG approaching 50 percent over diesel,” Mr Carter states. “Our infrastructure is designed to operate without interruption in diverse weather conditions. With strict environmental policies progressively limiting the usage of diesel in the power and transport sector, LNG is gradually entering new segments and carrying those benefits to the market.”
To that end, Golar Power is
constantly looking for innovative ways to introduce LNG solutions while working with new partners to develop the gasto-power processes. The end goal is to create the best possible LNG solution for each area.
“Projects are very different from one country to another, or even from one location to another within the same state. In some projects, the scope of work requires providing the full range from gas supply, floating regasification, mooring infrastructure to pipeline for delivery at the power plant, whereas others require a more limited scope of work, which does not come with less complexity,” Mr Carter details.
Fully capable The 1,550 MW Porto de Sergipe gas-to-power project in Brazil has reached financial closing earlier this year and is now more than 70 percent complete, according to Mr Carter. Everything is on track for the facility to commence operations next year. The project will showcase Golar Power’s full capabilities once it is up-and-running.
“The construction site is supported by more than 2,000 workers occupied with the installation of different equipment components such as gas turbines, steam turbine, generators, heat recovery steam generators, electrical transformers, switchyard, substation and transmission lines, pipeline and mooring infrastructure for the FSRU” Mr Carter says. “Golar will also be delivering the Golar Nanook, a new FSRU specifically built for the project, and it is expected to be delivered to site in the first half of 2019.”
The company created the project by working jointly with international and local partners as it looks to provide additional power to the grid and help meet this region’s growing electricity demand.
“The project is of strategic importance to Golar Power and Brazil, as it represents a critical entry point for LNG into the country and acts as a system backup for the intermittent hydropower generation capacity in the area,” Mr Carter notes. “Golar Power sees a number of attractive opportunities to increase the demand for environmentally friendly LNG solutions and to substitute more expensive fuel based consumption. Using spare bulk capacity from our vessel, we are targeting to further develop the downstream industrial and commercial markets with LNG supply.”
Golar Power is currently exploring opportunities on every continent and the firm holds a long-standing interest in Southeast Asia. That’s because it views the region as a leading market for developing LNG-powered solutions.
“Gular Power owns and operates two LNG carriers the Golar Celsius and Golar Penguin dedicated to supply global markets with liquefied natural gas. We are also looking for new development opportunities throughout Southeast Asia by providing reliable and flexible solutions to meet the increasing demand and have the capacity to convert our LNG Carriers into FSRUs under short delivery time” Mr Carter reports.
Floating solutions Golar Power is using floating solutions to support its goals, including LNG-to-energy initiatives. The company’s FSRUs allow for shipboard LNG regasification, which can then be dispatched to onshore facilities. This requires less upfront investment than traditional onshore regasification plants while providing countries without LNG infrastructure flexible solutions and faster access to the marketplace.
“The floating units can be moored away from shore providing a long term alternative to the major construction work required by onshore regasification plants as well as the related environmental land permitting issues,” Mr Carter says. “Golar achieved the world’s first FSRU conversion, the Golar Spirit, which went into operation in 2008.”
The company is currently looking to take advantage of its available shipping resources to secure additional FSRUs to long-term commitments. Mr Carter adds the company is always searching for ways to maximise the usage of its regasification floating assets around the world.
“We consider every project with the same perspective of presenting the opportunity to enhance LNG usage and provide practical alternatives to more expensive or polluting fuels,” Mr Carter says. “Golar Power has acquired a unique expertise of forming strategic alliances with credible international players and being able to successfully lead teams on different projects across the globe.”
This experience is something Golar Power can leverage in Asia, a region where it can continue to grow. With additional gas supply expected from the US and new export terminals coming online, the company expects the price of LNG to remain competitive in the coming years ensuring LNG-to-power generation is an attractive alternative.
“We are deeply involved in diverse opportunities in Asia, providing end users with reliable, safe and environmentally responsible means of power generation. Golar Power is committed to the development of downstream activities and to opening up new markets for LNG and FSRUs,” Mr Carter concludes.
Above left: The Golar Nanook, the FSRU built for the Sergipe gas-to-power project. Above: Power equipment under installation at Golar Power’s Sergipe site in Brazil.