BOND has been working in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) arena for over 15 years. With the LNG market continuing on a path of rapid growth, clients need responsive and expert advice on how to manage these critical assets. Aaron Govoni, Senior Project Manager and BOND resident LNG expert shares his experiences from the field on how we can help our clients with the execution of this project type.
Anticipate Nuclear Generating Assets to Come Offline as LNG Pipeline Projects Become Critical
The region has recently seen several coal and nuclear generating assets come offline with additional plants slated in the next several years. Additionally, new pipeline infrastructure has met significant opposition at the permitting stages, and new pipeline projects capable of bringing more natural gas into the region do not look promising. As a result, LNG has become a critical component of the energy reliability portfolio for this region to maximize the efficiency of the constrained natural gas capacity.
As siting new LNG facilities near population centers would face the same hurdles as pipeline construction, owners are looking at life extension projects at their facilities constructed in the 1960s and 1970s. This strategy will make sure this critical energy infrastructure is ready to operate and perform when needed. These projects must be executed on tight seasonal timelines to not impact the ability for the LNG facility to store and make gas while working in tight quarters around live equipment.
Revitalize Outdated Infrastructure to Distribute LNG During New England’s Coldest Months
Relative to the Northeast, LNG is primarily used as a source of energy for meeting peak demand spikes. Due to the seasonal variability (hot summers & cold winters), combined with constrained pipeline access (existing pipeline infrastructure is not enough to meet those demands), LNG assets are called upon to overcome these demand peaks. As a native of New England, I understand the lack of available land for new plants and support the renovation and expansion of existing LNG facilities as well as replacing and installing new pipelines for transmission and distribution. With these existing assets already playing such a vital role in meeting demand, expanding or updating these facilities must be done without taking plants out of service, making technically challenging projects more complex by layering on challenging logistical hurdles.
Approach LNG Expansion Construction by Prioritizing Sequencing without Impacting the Existing Operations
As an LNG construction professional, I’ve worked on many complex projects that have initiated with feasibility studies. Not only do these studies inform our clients of their options, including expansion and upgrades to live plants, re-gas projects, liquefaction projects and new plants, they ensure there is a clear understanding of the requirements of the active plant. The feasibility process leads to efficient, early-on decision-making in budgeting, equipment selection, construction planning and sequencing, while identifying pinch points between keeping the facility operating today and getting the upgrades put in place for the future.
For instance, when working on a liquefaction installation project at an existing plant, as the execution plan is developed, all the options are ironed out. This informs schedule and logistics to minimize facility disruption during construction. If we can align the plan, budget and schedule early-on during the feasibility phase, then we have a solid foundation for a successful project. Existing plant operations continue, and this doesn’t impact their bottom line. At the end of the day, working in live facilities requires a special set of skills from the project design and construction teams. These skills include an understanding of the facilities operations from all involved, and a focus on realizing the day-to-day requirements of the plant are as important as the project schedule for the upgrade.
About BOND Civil & Utility
BOND has proven expertise in the natural gas industry working with clients such as National Grid, Eversource, UI, PSEG, ConEd, Williams, Enbridge and Black & Veatch. We employ both professional and craft individuals with hands on LNG project experience ranging from specific process equipment modifications, to a complete liquefaction system replacement. In addition to our internal resources, our experience in the natural gas industry has enabled us to develop relationships with partners at all stages of the supply chain including engineering, specialty material procurement, utilities and transportation providers. These relationships allow BOND to call on these partners to fill in scope gaps as they develop on a project by project basis, giving the client the confidence that BOND can take a cradle to grave approach in executing their projects.