FLNG enters new age

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Floating LNG developers are seeking to build on the momentum created by successful deployments

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The successful deployment of Golar LNG's Hilli Episeyo floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility off Cameroon gives hope that further investment can now be enticed to a sector that has suffered its fair share of teething problems.

Hilli Episeyo has been operational on the Kribi development, operated by French firm Perenco, since March and shipped its first cargo in May. By late August, the facility was preparing to offload its sixth cargo, Iain Ross, Golar's chief executive, said on a second quarter results conference call. All four trains on the 1.2m tonnes a year (t/y) facility had been successfully tested at above nameplate capacity, though only two were currently being used, until Perenco is ready to supply more gas from Kribi, he said.

The news will be encouraging for those seeking relatively low-cost FLNG solutions. Hilli Episeyo is estimated to have cost less than $1bn per million t/y of LNG capacityaround a third of the cost per unit of Shell's 3.6m t/y Prelude FLNG project, which is due to start operations off Western Australia later this year.

"Early FLNG designs tended to be over-engineered, risking an uncontrollable rise in project expenditure. But the new modular designs are much simpler and cheap....

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