Floating Storage and Regasification Units (“FSRUs”) are floating LNG import terminals capable of transporting, storing, and regasifying LNG onboard. Regasification is a process of converting LNG at −162 °C (−260 °F) temperature back to natural gas at atmospheric temperature. The onboard re-gasification system enables the FSRU to deliver natural gas directly to the end-user through either a grid or a dedicated pipeline.
FSRUs have been in operations since 2005, and have moved quickly from a specialist niche to a main-stream solution for LNG imports. FSRUs have helped open up new markets by providing LNG buyers, who may not have existing terminal infrastructure in place, with a time- and cost efficient solution to solve import logistics.
The growth of the FSRU market has been exponential over the past decade, mainly due to the lower cost, faster schedule, commercial flexibility and reusable asset feature of FSRUs when compared to land based (onshore) terminals which cannot be relocated. FSRUs can be up and running as much as six times faster than onshore regasification terminals. Energy independence and diversification are other prime drivers, as well as meeting rising domestic energy consumption and the necessity to cater for seasonal gas demand.
Looking ahead, demand for FSRU is continuing to increase – in addition to the existing 21 projects in operation there are a further 13 FSRU projects under construction, with another 30-55 additional proposed projects of various stages of development.
FLEX LNG is actively developing several opportunities to leverage its experience with the development and implementation of FSRU infrastructure. Our highly experienced commercial and technical team to succeed can draw on extensive technical FSRU knowledge within the group, with management having been involved in 13 of the existing 21 FSRU projects worldwide (19 FSRUs including decommissioned projects).
In December 2016, FLEX LNG and NextDecade announced the signing of a Heads of Agreement for the joint development of a full value chain infrastructure solution utilizing FSRU and dockside regasification import technology. FLEX LNG will for example be supporting NextDecade to provide a fully integrated regas import solution for the proposed LNG terminal at the Port of Cork.