LNG Higas storage in provisional operation
3 May 2021 - ConferenzaGNL
Last week, after receiving the authorization for the temporary operation, the Higas plant, the first coastal LNG deposit in the Mediterranean entered into service, with a capacity of 9,000 cubic meters divided between six containers. The depot overlooks the port of Santa Giusta – Oristano, in Sardinia island, Italy.
The test phases, in accordance with the Seveso law (Legislative Decree 105/2015), provide for the cooling of the plant with liquid nitrogen, at minus 192 degrees, which will be followed by the first LNG tankers, at minus 162 degrees, to complete the phases testing on machinery and equipment used for the storage and handling of LNG.
Final testing will follow with the supervision of the Fire Brigade and other relevant authorities and the arrival of the first bunkering of LNG by ship, expected within the next four weeks. It will be refueled by a tanker with a capacity of 7,500 cubic meters of the company Avenir, which owns 80% of the company’s shares and which financed the plant, already on its way to the Mediterranean.
The deposit project was started in 2015 by the Italian companies Cpl Concordia and Gas and Heat, which each hold a 10% stake in Higas. Gas and Heat was also general contractor in the construction of the plant. The works lasted two years despite the interruptions due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The strategy of Avenir LNG, the first company specifically set up for the management of the small scale supply chain on a global level, develops with the integration of the Higas depot in the operation of its tanker fleet. Founded by the Norwegian shipowner Stolt Nielsen, Golar LNG and Hoegh LNG are also present in Avenir, among the main operators of liquefaction plants for liquid methane.
Avenir’s fleet will consist of six tankers between 7,500 and 20,000 cubic meters of capacity. The smaller ones, but longer than 100 meters, designed by MES from Trieste and equipped with cryogenic tanks from Gas and Heat, are already operational in the waters of South East Asia and South America.
The Sardinian depot will therefore be part of an integrated global logistics of small-scale LNG, relying on the relative economies of scale and supply guarantees. The photos show a view of the plant, its first tankers and the first operations with nitrogen.
Source: press release by Higas – Gas and Heat