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From opening its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal to expanding its LNG plant in Bintulu, Malaysia is committed to increasing its natural gas efforts.
Through a live televised link to the control room of the world’s newest regasification terminal, the delegates of the World Gas Conference 2012 watched the prime minister of Malaysia and the chief minister of Melaka simultaneously push a button to launch Malaysia’s first LNG import terminal.
Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak was at the WGC in Kuala Lumpur on June 4, while Melaka’s Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam was at the terminal in Sungai Udang, Melaka.
This is likely the first time a regasification terminal was inaugurated at the opening of a major gas conference. However, the Malaysian officials used the launch as an example of the country’s commitment to natural gas. Now, the country both imports and exports LNG.
The first cooldown cargo for the terminal is scheduled for delivery in July from Malaysia’s Bintulu facility in Sarawak. Commercial operations are expected to begin in August.
This will likely be the first of three import terminals for the country. “Petronas’ commitment to ensuring adequate domestic supply has led to the development of Malaysia’s first LNG regasification terminal,” said Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas, acting chairman, president and chief executive officer, Petronas. “The intention of this terminal is to prepare for the impending shortfall of supply in peninsular Malaysia.
“We are also assessing the feasibility of constructing a second LNG regasification terminal in southern Johor to meet the needs of various planned developments there.
“A third terminal in Lahad Datu in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah is also being pursued as an integrated gas-to-power development project, which is slated to be commissioned in 2015,” he explained.
New Design For Regasification Terminal
The development project was announced on June 10, 2010. Now, a little over two years later, the terminal is set to begin operations. The new design of the Melaka terminal allowed the project to meet its deadline.
Petronas assigned the terminal project to RGB, which implemented the project on a fast-track basis.
The terminal is 3.0 km (1.8 miles) offshore on a first-of-its-kind jetty island, which houses the regasification equipment. The terminal is also the first in the world to use two floating storage units (FSUs). A subsea pipeline connects the jetty island to a new 30-km (18-mile) onshore pipeline that links to PGB’s existing Peninsular Gas Utilisation pipeline network.
The two FSUs are former Tenaga-class LNG carriers owned by MISC Bhd. The ships will be permanently moored to the jetty and were designed for at least 20 years of operation with the need for dry docking.
The vessels were converted to FSUs by Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd. at its shipyard in Pasir Gudang, Johor, and Keppel Shipyard, Singapore.
The terminal has a capacity to store and vaporize up to 3.8 million metric tons (530 million cubic feet of gas) per year, which will be imported from various supply sources.
Active LNG Plant Growth
Petronas intends to bolster its track record as an LNG exporter “with our Train 9 project, which involves adding another 3.6-MMmt/y to the existing 25.7 MMmt/y capacity within the existing Petronas LNG Complex in Bintulu,” Azhar Abbas emphasized.
“Train 9 will drive early monetization of discovered gas resources and will require simultaneous development of four to five gas fields together with new exploration discoveries in Sarawak,” he continued.
Petronas isn’t stopping with just the Bintulu expansion. “We have reached the final investment decision for our first floating LNG project, which aims to be the first of its kind in the world when it is commissioned in 2015.
“This is an example where advancement of technology has made it economically feasible to monetize stranded gas in small, scattered, conventional fields,” he explained.
Petronas will be working with Technip and Daewoo on the 1.2-MMmt/y FLNG vessel. The LNG will likely be delivered to the domestic market.
Other Natural Gas Projects
Meeting domestic demand is the company’s goal. “We are augmenting our efforts in the upstream gas sector, where three new projects are being developed -- Tangga Barat, Berantai, and the North Malay Basin field development.
The company also is working in Australia and Canada with unconventional gas development. “Petronas’ joint venture in the Gladstone LNG Project in Australia will use world-first technology to process coal-bed methane into LNG, due to come onstream in 2015,” he noted.
“Our strategic partnership with Canadian-based Progress Energy Resources Corp. will develop shale-gas assets in northeastern British Columbia for export as LNG,” he added.
“These projects are underpinned by our fundamental strategy of developing a robust supply portfolio to meet both domestic demand and the energy needs of our long-term strategic customers,” he said.
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