Liquefied Natural Gas Applications
There are a diverse range of applications that can use LNG including power generation, mining and industrial, rail, road transport and alternative energy / gas reticulation.
Click these links to jump direct to an application:
|Power Generation||Mining and Industrial||Rail Transportation|
|Road Transport||Alternative Energy and Gas Reticulation|
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has already been established as a suitable alternative to diesel for the Remote Power Generation (RPG) market. These remote power generating plants or “island generators” provide electricity for towns or mine sites and can vary in size from 1 or 2 MW to 50MW.
Clean Energy Fuels Australia can assist with replacing the current fuel supply (which is in most cases Diesel) with LNG at these locations, making it a more cost effective, safer and cleaner option.
Rural Power Generation tends to be medium term and reasonably consistent fuel usage. Therefore RPG typically becomes the foundation customer for any LNG plant application and underpins the LNG plant in its first stage as other LNG target markets continue to develop.
The final RPG demand will depend on customers either replacing existing diesel generator sets with gas generator sets or by dual fuelling existing units. This typically occurs during a plant expansion or with new projects, or by converting existing sets to dual fuel operation, a similar concept to the technology used in 'over-the-road' applications.
Off-take agreements usually take the form of 3 to 20 year agreements and align with the customer's power supply commitments to towns or mine sites.
Clean Energy Fuels Australia believes that the mining and industrial market has considerable scope and potential over the next decade to implement LNG into their operations.
Significant quantities of diesel are consumed by Mine Haul Vehicles and traditional 'haul-pack' vehicles on mines sites. These vehicles are typically captured on a particular site and run short repetitive routes, therefore they are ideal for refuelling at a one site location. A lot of development work has, and continues to be undertaken to apply the on-road engine conversion technology to these larger units. With continued investment by interested stakeholders, it is likely that within two years a demonstration 'haul-pack' vehicle will be operational and commercial vehicles available within a four year time frame.
However there are already some power trailer units that can use existing 'over-the-road' technology, contact us for details.
This mining and industrial LNG market segment has considerable potential over the next decade.
Rail is an already expanding LNG market. Worldwide interest in using LNG to replace diesel for locomotives has increased substantially in the past few years and LNG powered locomotives are already in use in other countries.
Clean Energy Fuels is working with interested stakeholders and believe we have the expertise and contacts to assist in the introduction of this technology to Australia. Clean Energy Fuels would be interested to hear from any potential users to discuss your requirements and investigate suitable LNG supply sources.
Use of LNG as an alternative fuel to diesel for road transportation has been in development in Australia since 2001, with over 200 heavy duty vehicles now in daily operation. LNG is viewed as the only gaseous fuel that can realistically replace diesel in the heavy duty vehicle market.
With the impact of mass transportation on the environment becoming more evident every day, LNG is emerging as the most practical and cost effective way to reduce road transport emissions. Natural gas as a vehicle fuel has a long and established record in Europe, the UK, Canada, and in the USA. Many countries have natural gas vehicles (NGV) on their roads today and engine manufacturers are now recognising natural gas as a serious alternative fuel by offering a range of gas engines alongside their existing diesel engines to transport operators.
It is estimated that there are 4,000 plus LNG vehicles globally. An indication of the expected growth of this fuel is that most of LNG plant manufacturers, LNG refuelling and transport equipment manufacturers and vehicle tank manufacturers are setting up to produce equipment in China.
Australian pioneers such as Sands Fridge Lines, Mitchell Corp, SITA Environmental Solutions and Murray Goulburn Co-operative have been at the forefront of the LNG uptake here in Australia and have demonstrated that using LNG as a heavy duty vehicle fuel can be a commercial reality.
LNG powered vehicle technology has only matured globally over the last 15 years. Improvements in vehicle tanks, storage vessels and dispensers have all contributed to this. Original equipment manufacturers such as Cummins and Caterpillar have assisted by providing engines for natural gas. LNG provides vehicle range and refuelling times comparable to diesel without any power to weight disadvantages. Vacuum-insulated vehicle tanks are designed to replace the diesel tanks with minor vehicle modifications.
The key customers consist of existing LNG users and customers with knowledge of LNG and its applications. Some of these users operate triple and quad format road trains hauling typically mine products on-highway with concessional mass permits allowing gross vehicle masses of over 140 tonne to be utilised.
The market's overall success will depend on continued operator acceptance, LNG truck supply and original equipment manufacturers support.
LNG is ideally suited to replace other fuels such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), fuel oil, coal and wood dust. It is generally more economical than traditional oil based fuels like diesel and LPG, and is more environmentally friendly. It also has the added benefit of having a stable, long-term pricing structure independent of oil pricing.
LNG is delivered as a liquid at around -130 C into site storage, which is a vacuum insulated twin wall vessel, similar to a very large thermos flask. When the LNG is drawn off for use, it passes through an atmospheric vaporiser which converts the liquid into a gas - the same gas as the natural gas delivered to domestic homes.
Boilers, dryers and most other fuel burning industrial equipment can easily be converted to run on natural gas and because of the increasing world-wide use of LNG equipment it is readily available and economical to buy.
LNG can be used to supply natural gas to reticulation systems as a normal supply, to overcome pipeline capacity restrictions or as temporary supply to areas before the natural gas network is connected. The advantage of this approach is that the appliances used can be set for natural gas from the outset, avoiding the cost of changeover to the consumer if natural gas becomes available at a later stage, which occurs when bottled gas or LPG is used.