This paper discusses the design of concrete gravity based offshore LNG terminals with a focus on its applications worldwide, particularly in the fast-growing areas, such as the coastal areas of the United States and China.
As the United States gas demand rises, there is an ever-growing need for the country to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals. At the same time, on the other side of Pacific-Ocean, the Chinese government has vowed to adjust its energy mix and increase the proportion of natural gas to ten percent of the energy mix by 2010, up from the current level of less than four percent. This could lead to the construction of many new LNG terminals in the coastal areas of China.
However, the application of onshore LNG terminals faces permitting challenges and local oppositions in the United States. In China, the available free land for capital construction, such as building onshore LNG terminals, is more and more restricted due to high densely population. Under these situations, offshore LNG terminals offer a promising solution. In the search for safe, economical and environmental-friendly installations, the offshore concrete gravity based structure (GBS) LNG terminals are emerging as a trend of technical solution.
The concrete GBS has many advantages over steel installations, such as high resistance to cryogenic low temperatures, high resistance to thermal shock, good durability in marine environments, extended fatigue life, strong resistance against boat impact, fire and explosion. The paper presents the key aspects of design, construction, towing, installation, and classification requirements of concrete GBS offshore LNG terminals. It reviews the state-of-the-art technologies and discusses its potential market demands.