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The new market reality

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LNG Industry,

Marco Ferrara, Italy, and Rick Liberson, USA, Emerson, discuss the importance of superior fit-for-purpose valve technology for the LNG value chain.

Global energy markets are more dynamic in 2019 than ever before, as buyers become increasingly price-sensitive and seek out flexible sources of supply. Nowhere is this more evident than in the natural gas market, where new sources of supply and a trend towards shorter, lower quantity contracts continue to drive softer prices. However, a changing energy balance in favour of natural gas underpins continued LNG demand, which is forecast to grow at an average of 4% per year through to 2035.

In this new market reality, there is an opportunity for participants along the LNG value chain to capture this growth with disciplined investment in new capacity and process efficiency improvements. One avenue to achieve this is through the implementation of superior fit-for-purpose process technologies that not only enable efficient use of capital, but also build in long-term production efficiencies. The application expertise to evaluate and implement new technology solutions often falls outside of a producer’s core competencies, and it is in these situations that an expert partner can add value.

One process technology asset class that benefits from integrating the application expertise of a partner is valves. Given the prevalence of valves in any LNG process unit, these assets have a significant impact on unit productivity, operating costs and the ability to comply with safety and environmental standards. So, implementing the right valve technology across a plant can have a profound impact on the profitability of both new projects and existing operations in the current market environment.

This is an abridged version of an article that was originally published in the October 2019 issue of LNG Industry. The full version can be read here.

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