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Liquefied natural gas redesigns the energy map

Photo: Skangass

​​LNG as ship fuel contributes to the elimination of sulfur and particulate emissions.​

​LNG, liquefied natural gas, is off to a flying start in Sweden. Since the installation of the first Swedish terminal, a race has started with billions at stake. 

Today, there are plans to build terminals in several parts of the country since both the industry and the maritime sector demand natural gas.​​

LNG is a clever product. Space-saving, efficient, greener than most alternatives and an excellent first step for those who eventually want to take the full step to fossil free biogas. In addition, it is efficient to transport - a cubic metre of LNG can be converted to 600 cubic metres of usable gas. In Sweden, where the pipeline network is limited, the breakthrough of LNG provides new opportunities.

"The interest is huge right now," says Anna Berggren, specialist in process engineering at COWI and designer and advisor in a number of LNG projects in Sweden. She continues: 

"The world market prices have fallen and what we now see is a boom of small and large terminal projects. At this moment, just within COWI we handle a number of projects covering all phases, ranging from investigations on both Swedish and European level, to permit applications, design and construction projects."

LNG boom in the Nordic countries - and the world

LNG has been produced in Norway for a long time, and the Norwegian distribution network is well developed. Among Norwegian fjords and mountains, natural gas networks in the form of pipelines are hard to imagine - but with LNG terminals along the coast and a fleet of custom-built ships and trucks the demand for gas could be satisfied. In Denmark there are several ongoing projects, including the construction of a terminal in the city of Skagen with the capacity to bunker ships with LNG.

Today, the infrastructure is also being extended towards Germany and the rest of Europe; the North Sea gas is on its last legs and more gas is needed in the networks. At the same time, the Finnish gas giant Gasum makes major investments and has by a strategic alliance with rapidly growing Skangass paved the way for an exciting development of the LNG market in Finland. Finland has Russian gas in pipelines but is now expanding the supply by building LNG terminals along the coast according to Norwegian and Swedish model.

"Natural gas is growing rapidly on the market today and LNG is the smartest alternative for transporting and storing it. Since 1990, the trade of LNG in the world has increased fivefold," says Berggren.

This article ​is from COWI Sweden's customer magazine 360. 

Published 24.06.2014​

Key facts about LNG

- LNG, liquefied natural gas, is condensed natural gas cooled to -162 ° C.

- Upon cooling, gas changes into liquid form, reducing the volume 600 times.

- LBM, liquefied bio methane is the same product, though produced of biogas. Biogas is chemically identical with natural gas, i.e. methane, but does not contribute to global warming since it is not of fossil origin.

- LNG as ship fuel contributes to the elimination of sulfur and particulate emissions. Nitrogen oxides are reduced significantly and CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent compared to petroleum products.

- For industry use, LNG significantly reduces CO2 while used as a replacement for other fossil fuels. Preem refinery in Lysekil, one of Sweden major users, is expected to reduce their carbon emissions by 120 000 tones when they completely convert to LNG.


LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016