(4) Transportation of gas as Gas Hydrates
Large number of small fields globally are not developed for economic reasons as piping costs of gas is prohibitive.
Such unutilized gas reserves may be about 40% of world reserves.
Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding company (MES), in association with Osaka University, is developing technology to convert small volumes of gas to Natural Gas Hydrates (NGH) for transportation.
NGH is palletised to increase its stability, storing efficiency, and ship loading/unloading efficiency.
A 600 KG/day plant of NGH has been built and tested for continuous operation.
In comparison with the conventional Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) which is produced and stored at extremely low temperature of -162°C , the production cost for NGH is much lower as it needs only -20°C at atmospheric pressure.
Though transportation amount per unit energy of NGH is more than that of LNG, the total cost of NGH system including production, storage, transportation and gasification therefore is much cheaper than that of LNG.
MES has developed all the components of the value chain, i.e. for NGH manufacture, road and ocean transportation, re-gasification etc.
Physical properties of NGH and LNG;
Modes of transport & storage Solid Liquid
Temperature to be maintained -20°C -162°C
Gravity 0.85-0.95 0.42-0.47
Content of Natural Gas (in 1 M3) 170 NM3 600NM3
Remote gas/oil fields.
Cluster of consumers away from City Gas facility.
Peak demands of power plants.