Skangass AS was established in 2007 and is owned in equal parts by Lyse AS and Celcius Invest AS. The company’s vision and business concept is to create value downstream in the petroleum based industry.
The company aims to become the market leader in LNG-based energy solutions through products and competences that provide customers with the best solutions. In terms of its future vision, the business is striving to become the preferred LNG supplier for Scandinavia.
This goal encompasses the new solid liquefaction plant that the company is currently building in Norway. The business will be responsible for the operation of the new LNG plant at Risavika in the Sola municipality of Norway. The installation, which will begin operation towards the end of 2010, will produce 300,000 tonnes of LNG yearly. Skangass’ investment in this new facility, including logistics and installations, exceeds two billion Norwegian kroner. Gas will be taken in from a 50 km high-pressure gas pipeline from Kårstø that was built by one of Skangass’ owners, Lyse.
Testing at the site begins in May/June, as Kenneth Olsen, Skangass’ technical director explains: “We are now preparing for the operation of the plant. Once testing is complete, we expect ordinary operation to begin at the plant at the end of the year. We have now completed the construction period and we are nearing technical completion. Over all I would say the plant is around 95 per cent complete. In April we will obtain our mechanical completion certificate and then we will go into the commission period. It’s a little hard to be precise at the moment, but we estimate that that will take us up to July or August.”
When completed the plant will carry out solid liquefaction and produce LNG of a very high quality. Skangass is installing a 30,000 tonne energy storage tank to ensure that the company can produce the required amount of LNG. Kenneth explains that it is hugely important for the company to become the preferred supplier of LNG to its customers, and outlines how Skangass aims to achieve this: “Because of the size of our plant and ships, and the scale of the transportation operation, we are able to reach our customers easily with our small ships rather than using the larger ship. We are also in a position to buy terminals, where we can deliver our LNG and distribute it to small and medium-sized customers.”
He goes on to talk about the importance of training in terms of running the new plant and providing a strong customer service at all times: “We are on track to building Skangass as an independent company, having hired a total of 20 employees to run the new plant later this year. We are currently training these personnel, and having taken on the engineers in 2009, they will have a year’s experience when we start up. Many of the engineers already have a longstanding experience in the oil and gas sector, so it’s simply a case of training them in the specific requirements of running our new LNG plant.
“This also gives both the new recruits and the more experienced employees in the project team the chance to get used to working together, because all the knowledge in the project team needs to be transferred to the new engineers, who will hopefully be here for the next 20 years or so. Otherwise we also have a simulator, so we can train operators in the control centre. We find this is really beneficial to the ongoing training experience, allowing the new operators to get a feel for the type of work they will be carrying out before they go into the real control centre. We really do place a very high emphasis on ensuring we provide the highest quality training available, so that these people can do an excellent job of running the plant from the 1st August 2010.”
Looking to the future of the industry, Kenneth explains how LNG carriers show huge potential as a growing market segment: “At the moment the industry is experiencing something of a boom in this field, with over 140 vessels on order at the world’s shipyards. For the industry LNG ships present a lot of opportunities and it is a market that we want to be involved with. It should also be a suitable market for Skangass as it is located in the entrance to Risavika port. We have already had inquires from carriers owners. As the LNG market continues to grow rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers is expanding and we are very excited about the prospects of this industry sector.”
Skangass’ own future looks equally positive, as its solid liquefaction plant nears completion. Kenneth concludes: “We will hopefully succeed in producing 300,000 tonnes yearly in the future, and we will work on improving our logistics department to support the plants’ work. Looking further into the future, we hope to extend the capacity of the plant to 600,000 tonnes, allowing us to deliver more LNG to the industry, and cementing the growth of our business.”
Products: Solid liquefaction plants