ECOnnect Energy has developed the Universal Transfer System (UTS) to safely and cost-efficiently transfer LNG between vessels and onshore storage tanks – without the need for jetties.
There is growing global demand for LNG as a cleaner fuel and as a bridge between coal/diesel and renewable energy sources.
Traditionally, LNG transfer has required jetties and quays. Construction of these, however, is costly and time-consuming, requiring multiple permits, dredging of large areas, etc. Moreover, jetties and quays are fixed structures and cannot be relocated. They also have a significant environment footprint both onshore and offshore.
The UTS™ system from ECOnnect Energy consists of a floating platform that connects to an LNG carrier and transfers LNG via floating hoses. The system is moved out to the vessel by a tug where it is connected to the vessel by a vacuum attachment. This makes it possible to offload, reload or bunker LNG at locations that were previously deemed unfeasible.
The UTS™ system has been class certified by DNV. All LNG transfer operations are autonomous and remotely controlled to enhance safety. The patented solution can be used for transferring almost any type of fluid, including liquid hydrogen or carbon dioxide.
The technology is based on decades of experience with LNG in Norway, as well as Connect LNG’s expertise in cryogenic liquids, maritime engineering, naval architecture and business development.
The UTS™ floating transfer solution eliminates the need for jetties and quays, and can be built and installed in five to ten months.
With a simple and universal design, the system is compatible with a wide range of ships and terminals without modification. The system has a minimal environmental footprint, with no impact on the seabed. It can also be relocated.
LNG is becoming an increasingly sought-after substitute for coal and diesel fuel, and many new terminals are being built. Global demand is expected to reach 330 million metric tons per annum by 2022 and 490 million metric tons per annum by 2030.
ECOnnect Energy conducted the world’s first commercial LNG transfer without a jetty at the Herøya Industrial Park in October 2017. Since then there has been tremendous international interest from markets as diverse as China, Finland and South Korea, and the company is in dialogue with various European ports where LNG is imported or bunkered. The first platform, which was built in 2017, is scheduled to be deployed in America.
7. Affordable and clean energy
The UTS™ system could help to encourage the switch to LNG, which has 20-30 per cent lower carbon dioxide emissions than coal or diesel fuel, and no nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, mercury or particulate emissions.
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
The UTS™ system can help to make the shipping and other marine industries greener.
14. Life below water
The UTS™ system has no impact on the seabed.