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Gasconsult awards Botswana LNG contracts

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Gasconsult Limited, the UK based supplier of a proprietary and patented methane cycle liquefaction technology, has been awarded a grant under the British Government’s Innovate UK scheme to co-fund a pre-feasibility study for use of its ZR-LNG liquefaction process for a Coal Seam Gas (CSG) LNG project in Botswana.

Gasconsult’s ZR-LNG liquefaction process is particularly well suited to remote areas with limited infrastructure. Specifically, ZR-LNG requires no external refrigerants, using the methane feedgas as the refrigerant medium and eliminating refrigerant extraction or storage equipment. Refrigerant supply logistics to remote locations are eliminated and there are no refrigerant make-up costs. Other advantages include high energy efficiency, low capital and operating cost, higher project returns and simplicity of operation. The absence of a liquid hydrocarbon refrigerant inventory also reduces fire and blast risk, enhancing safety. The ZR-LNG design has been validated by BP and a number of leading engineering companies active in the LNG sector.

To support its activity on the study Gasconsult placed two significant subcontracts in October 2017. The first, to Owner Team Consultation (OTC), a Johannesburg based engineering company, will comprise a survey of the market size including identification of potential off-takers of LNG, identification of potential project partners, a capital cost estimate of the facility, upstream gas sourcing and development of a financial model for the project. OTC is comprised of former Sasol executives and has been active on a number of gas and energy related projects in Southern Africa. A further subcontract has been placed by Gasconsult with Osomo Projects BV of the Netherlands. The work will comprise a process design for the liquefaction plant which will be based on Gasconsult’s ZR-LNG process combined with Osomo’s patented CO2 ‘flashto-sweep’ membrane system and proprietary ‘Cryo-3-flash’ 3 phase vapour-liquid-solid separator for CO2 freeze out. The combined process, designated ZR-iLNG, is jointly promoted by Gasconsult and Osomo and is particularly suitable for pipeline gas, CSG and biogas. ZR-iLNG allows an optimised low energy demand and low equipment count configuration for the challenging high CO2 and high nitrogen content of the low-pressure Botswana CSG. It also reduces cost and plant complexity by eliminating the need for a conventional amine system for CO2 removal with its attendant make up chemical costs, waste aqueous streams and the heat source for amine unit regeneration.

Speaking on award of the contracts to OTC and Osomo, Bill Howe, CEO of Gasconsult said “This is a major step forward for LNG development in Southern Africa, where the market is short of gas. Use of an indigenous gas resource will eliminate imports and this first phase work will lay the foundations for a definitive feasibility study to be used as the basis for a final investment decision on the project. Gas is a preferred energy source for industrial, metallurgical and power generation applications arising from its lower carbon and sulphur emissions than coal and oil.”

Freek van Heerden, Operations Director of OTC said “We are very pleased to be working on this important project and look forward to a positive outcome of the study. CSG has been under development for a substantial period in Botswana. The activities have now reached the stage where commercialisation is imminent.”

Jerom van Roosmalen, CEO of Osomo said “We are very pleased to be working with Gasconsult on the Botswana project. It cements the very positive co-operation our companies have developed over the past year and reinforces the value add of our respective technologies; which are uniquely beneficial to the Botswana feed gas.”

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