Supplier Picked for S Africa LNG & Helium Plant
Renergen has hired a Chinese company to supply equipment and technology for an LNG and liquid helium plant in South Africa.
The contract was awarded to China's Western Shell Cryogenic Equipment (WSCE), the Johannesburg-based developer said on October 28. Energy infrastructure contractor EPCM has also been selected to build a pipeline and manage the interface between the LNG and helium facilities, it added.
The complex in Virginia should come on stream in the first half of 2021, producing 2,700 GJ of LNG and 350 kg/day of liquid helium. It has a modular design and will be constructed in packages the size of standard shipping containers, allowing for easy transport and installation on site.
The LNG plant – South Africa’s first commercial one – will use a mixed refrigeration cycle in order to reduce its energy consumption.
Renergen operates Tetra4, South Africa’s only onshore production licence, where gas for the Virginia complex will be sourced. The company secured a $40mn, 12-year loan from the US’ Overseas Private Investment Corp. (Opic) in August to fund the project, which also involves drilling work.
LNG will be sold domestically, while helium will be sold to Germany’s Linde for supply overseas.
According to Renergen, WSCE has been working on small-scale LNG plants since 2004, commissioning the world’s smallest such facility in 2007. Its CEO and founder Jia Lin Xiang also developed a helium cryogenic test laboratory for Nasa.
“We look forward to contributing to the success of building the world-class Mini-LNG/LHe production plant in South Africa,” Jia commented.