World-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants contribute the majority of liquefied natural gas products traded globally today. They range in capacity between a few million tonnes per annum (tpa) and more than 10 million tpa. Typically the liquefied natural gas from these plants is transported by ship from export to import terminals, and then evaporated into pipelines for supply to the end user.
We established our cryogenic liquefaction technology for world-scale LNG plants at the world's northernmost natural gas liquefaction plant, Hammerfest. It is located 800 km north of the Arctic Circle on the Melkøya island off Norway.
Our patented Mixed Fluid Cascade (MFC®) process, jointly developed with Statoil for base load LNG plants, is designed for highest efficiency and reliability in any environment and climate.
The MFC® process features three independent refrigeration cycles. The intermediate liquefaction cycle and the coldest (sub-cooling) cycle always use mixed refrigerants, while the warmest (pre-cooling) cycle can vary its refrigerant depending on the ambient temperature. MFC® stands for propane pre-cooling, with load balancing between the three refrigeration cycles so the shaft power of all three compressor trains is identical. This unique configuration enables the largest LNG capacities with a given set of main compressor drives.
In a moderate or cold climate, propane pre-cooling and perfect load balancing across the three refrigeration cycles is no longer feasible. Under these circumstances, the 'arctic' version of our MFC® process – as implemented in Hammerfest, Norway – with three mixed refrigerant cycles is the preferred solution.