LNG Import Terminal at Bilbao to Undergo Expansion

SOFREGAZ, in joint venture with SN Technigaz and INITEC, was awarded by the owner BBG (Bahia de Bizkaia Gas) in July 2000 to construct an terminal for import, storage and re-gasification of liquid natural gas (LNG) at the port of Bilbao, in the Basque country, Spain.

This turn key contract concerned all aspects of the construction of this plant, such as detailed engineering, supply of equipment and materials, supervision and construction, pre-commissioning, commissioning and start up, training of personnel.

The terminal has been designed to send out 2.7 billion cubic meters of Natural Gas per year, with a storage capacity of 300,000 cubic meters, an unloading facility capable both to receive LNG carriers up to 165,000 cubic meters capacity and to unload at 12,000 cubic meters/h, and a truck loading package capable of loading one truck of LNG per hour. The import Terminal design was thought in terms both of future expansions and of integration with a power plant of 800 MW constructed next to the terminal at the same time. The power plant is entirely operated using Natural gas supplied by the terminal.

In addition, SOFREGAZ, along with SN TECHNIGAZ and INITEC were awarded the first expansion of the terminal in order to increase the output capacity of the terminal up to 6.0 billion cubic meters of Natural Gas per year.

The first LNG carrier, the British Innovator, arrived at the terminal on August 8, 2003. All operations required to unload the first ship were carried out so that it was possible to unload the 135,000 cubic meter /h of LNG to the ship. All was completed according to the pre-commissioning procedure prepared for this operation and The British Innovator was able to leave, once emptied only 48 hours after arriving. The performances of the terminal, in all aspects have entirely fulfilled the requirement of the Terminal specification and the provisional acceptance for the terminal has been signed with BBG on December 10th and for the expansion on March 22, 2004. The Import LNG terminal is now a master element in Spain for Natural Gas Distribution.