Brazil's first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) regasification plant was inaugurated this Wednesday, August 20. The factory was installed in Pecém Port, in the city of São Gonçalo do Amarante, in the Brazilian northeastern state of Ceará and it has a capacity for processing 7 million cubic meters (247 million cubic feet) of gas a day.
The venture should permit the import of gas from faraway countries like the Arab ones, which do not allow for the gas to be transported by pipelines due to the distance. In this case, the gas must be placed on ships and transformed when it arrives in the country. Countries like Algeria and Qatar are large producers of gas.
According to a press statement by Petrobras, the terminal starts the company's operation as an agent in the international LNG market. Still this year, a second plant should be inaugurated in Guanabara Bay, in Rio de Janeiro. With the initiatives, the country will have greater flexibility and safety with regard to the offer of natural gas. The LNG will initially be used in thermoelectric mills.
According to Petrobras, the company's LNG project is globally innovative, as the regasification terminals are the first to use adapted vessels for both storage of LNG and regasification of the product. Brazil is also a pioneer in adopting the LNG transfer technology from a supply vessel to a regasification vessel through cryogenic arms, capable of supporting temperatures as low as -160ºC.
The capacity of the terminal in Ceará represents an 11% increase in the current natural gas supply potential in Brazil, with is 60 million cubic meters a day. Petrobras adapted the structure of Pier 2 at Pecém Port, which used to operate as an oil derivative terminal, to prepare it to receive LNG. The works were started in December last year and finished in a record eight months.
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