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Australia’s Global Energy Ventures (GEV) is teaming up with offshore gas hub company Porto Norte Fluminense (PNF) of Brazil to develop a compressed natural gas (CNG)-to-power project that could use its specialised vessel design.

GEV said the pair, along with its Brazil country associate GAIA, have signed a joint development agreement (JDA) to evaluate the project and associated import facilities.

PNF has secured preliminary environmental approvals to develop an offshore port and gas hub to the north of Rio de Janeiro, within 250 nautical miles (463 km) of supply from the Santos and Campos basins of Brazil’s pre-salt reserves. It expects to receive additional permits in 2021 for gas processing and two gas-fired power plants.

The company has licensed two terminal options, which GEV said are both suitable for CNG facilities.

The partners will evaluate the cost-competitiveness of specific gasfields for a CNG-to-power project, in advance of Brazilian power auctions in 2021.

GEV, which has developed its own CNG Optimum vessel design, said if the CNG-to-power project is deemed technically and commercially viable, the JDA partners will move to introduce additional partners with power plant expertise to progress to definitive and binding agreements.

First operations are targeted for 2025.

GEV Brazil project manager Luke Velterop told TradeWinds that the company is working on several pre-salt projects with gas supply volumes of between 100m and 300m standard cubic feet per day, requiring three to five CNG ships each.

“The Porto Norte Fluminense offshore terminal and the capacity of the proposed onshore processing/plant facilities is suitable for multiple CNG projects in parallel,” he said.

GEV has already assessed the viability of shipping gas from a floating production, storage and offloading vessel using CNG transport.

It said the CNG-to-power project with long term pre-salt gas pricing is expected to be commercially competitive with existing LNG-to-power projects and have a smaller carbon footprint.

Commercially competitive

PNF chief executive Rogerio Sacchi said: “CNG Optimum ships will bring a cost-effective transportation solution for the abundant gas supply off the Brazilian coast to our port facilities and will enable the creation of a gas hub in north of Rio de Janeiro attracting several industries, bringing competitiveness and reducing the gas price to the Brazilian market and the electricity to be produced in our power plants.”

The Brazilian company owns the 126-hectare North Fluminense Port in the municipality of Sao Francisco de Itabapoana in Rio de Janeiro state.

“There are several major oil and gasfield developments with a suitable export gas composition located within a half-day sail from Porto Norte Fluminense,” Velterop said.

“While gas reinjection can be required for reservoir management, operators are having to consider reinjection of the entire gas stream, due to the lack of midstream infrastructure and gas market challenges. An integrated CNG-to-power project would solve both of these issues.”



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