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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 21.09.2019, 20:48

Experts suggest using Lithuania's LNG terminal for electricity, heat energy generation

BC, Vilnius, 17.05.2019.Print version
Some foreign experts believe that the use of the Klaipeda liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal could be expanded, for example, to generate electricity and heat energy, thus reducing its costs for consumers, informed LETA/BNS.

Klaipedos Nafta, the terminal's operator, say some of the suggestions are rational and are already being discussed, but they are not easy to implement.

Researchers told at Klaipeda LNG Forum 2019 that they see a wide range of uses for gas, but also noted growing competition from other energy sources.

Professor Kang-Ki Lee of South Korea, who is senior vice-president at the Austrian-based R&D company AVL List, says Lithuania should become more flexible in terms of LNG logistics in convergence with other solutions like electricity generation and district heating, etc.

"If we see this Baltic area, these three countries neighboring each other already have this LNG terminal, this is a very great benefit. My suggestion would be: if you utilize this more flexibly, which means, if you add on some kind of module for electricity generation, then you could use this electric generation for the public supply of electricity," Kang-Ki Lee told at Klaipeda LNG Forum 2019.

"So, when LNG becomes expensive, you could sell LNG as fuel energy as a product. When LNG price goes down, then you can use this as a fuel for electricity generation," he added.

The Korean expert also thinks that, given a growing sector of LNG bunkering in the Baltic Sea area, Lithuania could become a part of this LNG consuming market.

Klaipedos Nafta CEO Mindaugas Jusius said the company is currently looking into possibilities for using gas vapor for energy production as an option that could help bring the terminal's costs down.

"We are currently analyzing using, as an alternative, the FSRU's generators for electricity production, which is also a global-level innovation. We are working together with Hoegh LNG (the owner of the FSRU Independence)," Jusius told.    

"The idea is as follows: since this is protected gas, it evaporates, and that vapor could be used for electricity generation," he said. 

Currently, the talk is about a capacity of around 26-30 megawatts, the CEO said, adding that it would be extremely difficult to carry out the project.  

Lawrence Henesey, associate professor at Sweden's Blekinge Institute of Technology, says the terminal's gas could be used as a fuel for trucks or trains. 

"Why not bunker trucks and trains that are coming in and out of Klaipeda. That is what I call synergy," Henesey said. 

"I feel that urban LNG will have a lot of challenge from electric and hydrogen, however today we do not have a technology for such a large battery for trucks and we need these lorries," the expert said.

"But for the urban, inside the cities I do not see that as a viable solution long-term, because electric motors are getting more and more advanced. Also you're seeing areas (...) 'no diesel', so what's after diesel? Probably 'no LNG' – we are still emitting emissions, it's still gas. So, that's going to be the next step," he added.

Klaipedos Nafta's CEO says a "floating power plant" could be a solution in producing electricity from gas. 

"We've had certain joint projects with Wartsila as part of international projects. There was an idea to build some kind of a floating power plant. Instead of building a stationary power plant, you have a kind of floating power port and you can use it for as long as you need, ten years or five," he said.   

Wartsila provides technologies and solutions for the marine and energy markets. 

In the LNG reloading station, gas is already used to produce heat energy and, in theory, could be used for electricity generation, too, but it is not clear if it would be competitive, according to Jusius. 

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