(EnergyAsia, June 26 2012, Tuesday) — Wison Offshore & Marine Ltd, a subsidiary of China’s Wison Group, said it has secured a contract from the Exmar group to undertake the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) of the world’s first floating LNG liquefaction, regasification and storage unit (FLRSU).

The unit will be deployed off the Caribbean coast of Colombia and used by Exmar under a “build, own, and operate” contract with Pacific Rubiales Energy Corporation from the fourth quarter of 2014.

The FLRSU consists of a non-propelled barge equipped to convert 69.5 million standard cubic feet/day of natural gas into about 500,000 tons of LNG a year. The LNG will be stored in the FLRSU’s 14,000-cubic metre tanks before being offloaded either to a permanently moored floating storage unit or shuttle tankers.

The facility will be moored to a jetty, and supplied with gas by pipeline from the onshore La Creciente field located in the Lower Magdalena Valley Basin.

Wison Offshore & Marine will be responsible for the design and engineering of the unit from its Shanghai operational centre while construction will be undertaken at its wholly-owned fabrication facility in Nantong, China. The company will receive further support from a subsidiary in Houston in the US state of Texas.

US engineering firm Black & Veatch said it has been contracted to execute the engineering and procurement of the topside liquefaction equipment and packages using its patented PRICO® LNG technology, and providing on-site commissioning and startup services.

The complete FLRSU, including process systems will be designed and constructed in compliance with the relevant rules and regulations of an internationally recognised classification society.

Nicolas Saverys, CEO of Exmar, an Antwerp-based diversified and independent shipping group serving the oil and gas industry, said:

“The EPCIC contract with Wison is a historic event not only for Exmar and WISON, but also for the LNG industry as the world’s first floating liquefaction unit moves from concept development into a firm turnkey contract. The proven track record of Wison Offshore & Marine in delivering offshore structures in time and on budget was a key driver.”

Wison Offshore & Marine Executive Vice President L. Dwayne Breaux said:

“We are honoured that Exmar, one of the world’s pioneering LNG players, chose Wison to provide the world’s first floating facility to produce LNG from an onshore field.

“Wison has been actively looking for the chance to be involved in the burgeoning LNG market for some time, and to be able to provide a project of this significance cements our role as a premier EPCIC provider for that market and the offshore industry as a whole.”

Earlier this year, Wison said it and Shell Global Solutions International BV agreed to jointly develop a new, low-cost hybrid gasification technology demonstration plant in China.

The two companies have begun work on collaborating in the technology’s design and marketing, and will seek to extend future cooperation to other coal gasification technologies.

“Hybrid gasification offers an environmentally sound solution at moderate costs for our customers to efficiently upgrade low-cost feedstock, such as coal, to more valuable products,” said Michiel Mak, Shell’s vice president for gasification.

The hybrid gasifiers promise to further expand the market for syngas – the main product of the gasification process – into the chemicals, hydrogen and fertiliser industries.

Liu Haijun, Wison’s chief operations officer, said:

“As a fast emerging, one-stop engineering service provider, Wison owns both practical experiences and R&D facilities for coal chemical production and operations. The joint R&D and marketing cooperation with Shell is in line with our development strategy. This cooperation will lead to greater success in the future and make further contributions to clean and efficient utilization of China’s vast coal resources.”