[NGW Magazine] LNG innovator sees scope in Caribbean
Newcomer Dreifa Energy is now ready to exploit what it sees is a gap in the LNG sector, converting old platform supply vessels (PSVs) for reuse as small-scale regasification vessels (here known as FRUs).
Their first such design has secured approval in principle from classification agency DNV GL, meaning it is now closer to entering into contracts for equipment and conversion.
The design of PSVs, with their large decks, is ideal for the regasification utilities they will house, Dreifa co-founder Jostein Ueland told NGW November 24. Dreifa's design, however, does not include LNG storage (see below).
British Virgin Islands-registered Dreifa bought PSV Blue Betria in June this year – the previous owner had carried out an extensive overhaul in 2015. Now Dreifa's plans for converting it have been approved in principle, it can go to market its services for projects – typically on archipelagoes such as Indonesia or the Caribbean, or coastal regions of continents far from pipeline gas and where power is needed– as a provider of infrastructure, based on other 'old ladies' that can be converted. Floating regasification units (FRUs) can be chartered on short term contracts such as five years and include optionality to terminate early or extend depending on future LNG demand. This allows the client to commercially manage the project and market risks without jeopardising project economics.
He says the conversion costs are confidential, but the small size and low cost of such a Dreifa FRU terminal would be a good way for an import project to test the water before deciding whether to scale up, he said, adding that such a vessel of that size could regasify 225mn ft³/d and keep a 500-MW or 1-GW power plant active.
Set up last year, half the six-strong management team is from Flex LNG, the LNG carrier and floating regasification and storage unit operator which Ueland and Trym Tveitnes co-founded in 2006. Tveitnes was Flex' chief technology officer. Also on the team is David Thomas, who left BP to set up Vitol's LNG trading business in 2006 and is now Dreifa's strategic advisor.
Dreifa is not planning to become involved in the LNG procurement business or on the sale of the energy at the other end, Ueland said.
The Dreifa terminal model consists of regasification equipment and related utilities on a floating structure (FRU), that would operate in combination with a standard LNG carrier providing floating storage.
According to its website, any floating storage unit (FSU) required will be separately acquired or chartered in the second hand market for LNG carriers; in order to minimise capital and operating costs, such a FSU is envisioned having a storage capacity of 130,000 to 145,000 m³ and steam turbine propulsion
Dreifa Energy aims to build, own and operate a fleet of FRUs (see image below). It says there is "strong interest for its solution" and it continues to mature several LNG import projects around the world by working closely with industry leading partners.