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Teekay to convert Arctic Spirit into floating LNG vessel

TEEKAY, one of the world’s leading energy shipping groups, is extending its involvement in the liquefied natural gas industry though a project to convert a vessel into a floating liquefaction facility on Canada’s west coast. In partnership with Merrill Lynch Commodities, Teekay plans to convert the LNG carrier Arctic Spirit, an 88,000 cu m vessel, to a floating facility to be moored alongside a pier near Kitimat, British Columbia. The converted vessel would have a daily capacity to liquefy 75m cu ft-100m cu ft of pipeline quality gas, or about 0.5m tonnes a year of LNG. It is understood that Teekay’s floating LNG project is separate from the existing Kitimat LNG project, which also aims to export LNG from Canada’s west coast. The Arctic Spirit is one of only two LNG carriers with the self-supporting prismatic type B cargo containment system, which Teekay said should be “ideal” for floating LNG. Teekay vice-president Mark Kremin said. “The potential to produce the world’s first floating LNG unit in British Columbia, where our operations are headquartered, is an exciting prospect.” FLNG liquefaction is still an unproven technology although Flex LNG has several units on order in South Korea. “This development will prove the feasibility of floating liquefaction and will provide an option for monetising stranded gas resources in other parts of the world,” Mr Kremin said. Teekay said that “reliable” Canadian LNG supply should be “very attractive” for LNG buyers and end users. The project is expected to commence LNG operations in 2012, subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory and local approvals. The existing Kitimat LNG project was originally intended to be an import terminal but was transformed into an export project which will have a capacity of 5m tonnes per year.

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