Announcing the news, CB&I Storage Solutions said: “A new LNG hub is coming to North America’s west coast and a notable number of firsts are being designed and constructed by McDermott’s CB&I Storage Solutions.”
It said the Port of Tacoma will soon be home to a new LNG facility capable of refuelling marine vessels. Jointly owned by Washington State utility Puget Sound Energy (PSE) and its commercial, sister company Puget LNG, Tacoma LNG has already achieved several industry ‘firsts’ since its ground-breaking on 1 November 2016.
The new LNG plant will bunker vessels and provide local utility customers with natural gas.
One of these ‘firsts’ is that when it opens in Q2 2021, Tacoma LNG will be the first LNG bunkering terminal on the west coast of North America.
It will also serve a shared function, providing LNG for Puget LNG’s commercial customers, and the necessary natural gas reserves for PSE’s utility customers.
CB&I added: “This multi-use strategy will optimise resources by combining peak shaving and transportation markets to reach economies of scale and maximise utilisation. The Tacoma LNG plant was specifically designed for both functions and, when completed, will operate simultaneously without compromising supply.”
Puget LNG business development manager Blake Littauer said: “This is particularly important for our key customer, TOTE Maritime, and their need to have their two Alaska-bound ships bunkered weekly with LNG.”
Another ‘first’ is the design of Tacoma LNG’s underground LNG pipeline by CB&I Storage Solutions, which will allow the refueling of TOTE Orca Class vessels and others like them.
Instead of a traditional bunkering barge, the Tacoma LNG facility will fill ships directly from the tank via a dedicated bunkering arm, supplying up 9,300 l/minute from a new pier in the port’s Blair Waterway.
Underground LNG pipelines like these are a rarity, and none in the world directly compare to Tacoma LNG’s design, with its vacuum-jacketed supply line, nitrogen-purged casing, and underground depth of 3.35 m.
“It’s an ingenious design,” said Tacoma LNG project manager Jim Hogan. “The pipeline is designed to last for the duration of the plant’s life with no active maintenance, but in the event we need to make a repair for some reason, we can pull the entire thing back up above ground.”
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