A Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) is the vital component required while transiting and transferring Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) through the oceanic channels. Thus, FSRU can be termed as a special type of ship which is used for LNG transfer.
As viable and exceedingly environment-friendly LNG is as a fuel component, fact remains that transporting the same isn’t easy. Any slight callousness could result in loss of precious lives and equally precious fuel, not to mention further degradation of the oceanic eco-system.
The fuel though is transported is semi-cooled in a slushy state of -160 ͦ, at the required destination, needs to be heated up to its original gaseous state. This reheating needs to be carried out before the gas is pumped into its storage systems. The whole process of freezing and then re-heating the fuel is extremely expensive not to mention time-consuming. The resultant solution to this time-consuming process is the FSRU.
FSRUs can be equipped in two ways:
- either they can be equipped as a separate unit aboard the LNG carrier itself or,
- an old gas carrier can be converted into an independent unit and placed in a particular destination
In case of the former, the process can be carried out within the vessel itself without having to unload the fuel in its semi-frozen slushy state.
The second option however promises to be more viable as docking a refurbished regasification unit would ensure that the supply and demand chains are adequately balanced.
Since the refurbished FSRU would also be able to provide storing feasibilities of LNG, constant transference of the LNG cargo from LNG vessels would ensure that there is no storage depletion whatsoever.
Generally speaking, such kinds of FSRUs are found near the harbour so as to prevent time-consumption. But while utilising a refurbished gas carrier as a Floating Storage Regasification Unit, care needs to be taken to suitably position these refurbished vessels so as to prevent any emergency arising near a particular port or harbour.