Processing natural gas for oceanic transport? Why not do it at sea itself? Des Plaines, Illinois-based UOP, a Honeywell International (NYSE: HON) subsidiary, wants to do just that.
The company has signed a deal with Malaysian national oil and gas company Petronas; the deal aims to develop advanced gas processing capabilities so as to liquefy natural gas while aboard massive ships moored offshore (but close to subsea natural gas fields).
Natural gas liquefies at minus 259°F, and the liquefied version (LNG) takes up just one six-hundredth of its gaseous volume, making for far more convenient storage and transportation.
The partnership will aim to develop lightweight, small-scale CO2 absorption technology that can remove contaminants present in natural gas prior to liquefaction. A land-based pilot plant will be set up to demonstrate proof-of-concept in the near future.
Natural gas consumption is likely to hit 160 trillion cubic feet per year by 2035, a third of that growth occurring in Asia, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has said.
“The joint program with PETRONAS is another example of how UOP is committed to developing gas processing innovations to meet the growing global demand for natural gas, especially in Southeast Asia,” said Rebecca Liebert, Vice President and General Manager at Honeywell UOP, in a press release.