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Teekay LNG storage vessel ready for working life in Bahrain

Mon 08 Oct 2018 by Mike Corkhill

Teekay LNG storage vessel ready for working life in Bahrain
CGI rendering of the Bahrain LNG receiving terminal, at an offshore location close to Khalifa Bin Salman port

Teekay LNG’s recently completed 173,400-m3 floating storage unit (FSU) Bahrain Spirit has commenced its 20-year charter to Bahrain LNG.

Delivered in recent weeks by South Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, the LNG vessel will be utilised in tandem with a jetty-mounted regasification unit at Khalifa Bin Salman port in northern Bahrain to enable the Gulf island nation to commence LNG imports. Commercial operations are set to begin in early 2019 and the terminal is expected to process up to 3 mta of LNG initially, building to 6 mta at a later date, subject to demand.

Bahrain LNG was established on a public private partnership basis in 2015 by the National Oil & Gas Authority of Bahrain (30%), Teekay LNG Partners (30%), Gulf Investment Corp (24%) and Samsung Construction and Trading (16%).

Besides the FSU, the receiving terminal comprises an offshore double-berth LNG receiving jetty and accompanying 600-m breakwater, an adjacent regasification platform, subsea gas pipelines, an onshore gas receiving facility 5 km away and an onshore nitrogen production facility.

The 7,000-tonne regasification topside module was built by CUEL Construction at Laem Chabang in Thailand, while the platform jacket was fabricated by SamKang M&T in Goseong, South Korea. The completed jacket and regasification module were transported by a heavy lift ship to Bahrain for installation on the dedicated platform at the offshore terminal site.

Bahrain, with a population of only 1.3M, is a relatively small economy. Although domestic gas reserves are in decline, and gas demand from the power and industrial sectors is growing, LNG imports in the early years of the project will be modest and subject to seasonal fluctuations. Bahrain’s choice of the FSU option will enable the vessel to depart the jetty and engage in conventional LNG carrier trading activities at times of slack demand.

Rotterdam-based Smit Lamnalco will provide marine services at the Bahrain LNG import terminal under a 20-year contract signed with National Oil & Gas Authority of Bahrain.

The centrepiece of the Smit Lamnalco package is a fleet of four 70-tonne bollard pull tugs that will assist with the escorting, berthing and departure of LNG carriers visiting the facility.

Smit Lamnalco will initially employ four escort tugs from its existing LNG terminal support fleet. However, in the fifth year of the contract these vessels will be replaced by four new purpose-built tugs for the remaining 15 years. As part of its overall offering, the towage and marine services provider assisted with developing the Bahrain LNG terminal’s infrastructure.

Teekay LNG holds ownership stakes in approximately 50 in-service and on-order conventional and icebreaking LNG carriers. Bahrain Spirit is the company’s first FSU.

All aspects of the ship/shore interface will be discussed at the LNG Ship/Shore Interface Conference Europe, 22-23 November 2018 in London.

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