Bahrain’s gas vision
International companies are going all out to woo the authorities in a bid to win the $1 billion Bahrain Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Import Terminal project, which is being undertaken by the kingdom to secure its long-term energy requirements.
This week, a Norwegian multi-gas speciality carrier, designed to carry LNG as well as a range of other liquefied gas cargoes, was formally named Bahrain Vision at the Khalifa Bin Salman Port.
The new age multi-gas vessel docked in Bahrain waters for the first time after being commissioned and built in China with Norwegian technology by I M Skaugen SE for $50 million. It is operated by a Singaporean company and will carry products from the Gulf region to clients in Asia. The vessel is one of four commissioned by the company – one of the 21 multinational firms in the fray for the multi-million dollar project tendered by the National Oil and Gas Authority earlier this year.
It transports LNG at temperatures of minus 162°C. Morits Skaugen, CEO of I M Skaugen SE, said: “The vessel will be operated from Bahrain. It offers a simple, safe and flexible transport solution and is a true example of global multinational co-operation and partnership. “We are confident that we have the best solution for the kingdom. We see a tremendous opportunity for Bahrain to redistribute LNG from this terminal to other ports.
It can be transported by trucks across the border and can also be used to fuel vehicles.” Bahrain’s LNG project includes the construction of a ship unloading system, LNG storage tanks, a ‘regasification’ and send out system, marine works, a jetty and other associated works.
Once realised, the kingdom hopes to solve its electricity shortages during the summer, have adequate energy for its planned industrial expansion and run vehicles on environmentally-friendly LNG. In an interview to the TradeArabia News Service, I M Skaugen SE group company Bahrain LNG project manager Hans Verswijver said that Bahrain needed a ‘small-scale’ LNG import facility that could be expanded as its needs grew. He claimed: “That is why our company, which is one of those that has tendered for the project, has offered Bahrain a solution that would cost at least 30 per cent less than what is likely to be offered by any other bidder. “The solution we are offering is to build a smaller terminal on reclaimed land and use our state-of-the-art facilities to transfer LNG from our floating terminals to the facility, saving on time and heavy transportation costs.” Mr Verswijver indicated that if his company won the contract it would ensure that all facilities would be in place by the end of 2014, or within three years after the contract was awarded, to meet Bahrain’s plans to receive its first imports.
The company has also offered to transport the LNG as well as to build, run and operate the terminal. He said: “We will not involve ourselves with where the LNG is coming from. We will leave that to the government. “What we will do is to transport the LNG from anywhere in very large vessels and transfer it to several smaller vessels or to our mobile terminals and bring the gas in to the land terminal for distribution in a phased manner. “The market for natural gas is increased by this concept through distributing LNG from either an LNG plant, an LNG import facility or directly from an LNG carrier using a combination of both sea and land-based transport to reach the end user.” Bahrain Vision’s ability to be a ‘multi-gas’ carrier capable of transporting various types of gases at different temperatures makes it a key component for small-scale LNG supply chain operations, its owners say.