Special Hoses for Liquefied Natural Gas

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May 2011ContiTech AG is stepping up its involvement in the market for hoses for raw material extraction and for maritime applications.

ContiTech AG is stepping up its involvement in the market for hoses for raw material extraction and for maritime applications. The ContiTech subsidiary Dunlop Oil & Marine has concluded an agreement with the Dutch company Bluewater Energy Service BV, Amsterdam, for the future development and production of special hoses for loading tankers with liquefied natural gas (LNG).

"The extraction and transport of LNG gas is a booming market from which will be able to profit in the future," said Dr. A.R. Kambiez Zandiyeh, general manager of Dunlop Oil & Marine. "Many countries are converting their power stations from coal to climate-friendly liquefied natural gas. Demand for LNG is rising in particular in Asia." By 2015, 370 million tonnes of LNG are to be traded annually worldwide, most of which comes from Middle Eastern countries. LNG will therefore be the most important commodity on international markets.

LNG is transported and stored at about -165°C since under these conditions it has just 1/600 of this usual volume and is easier to transport and store. Accordingly, the requirements for the connecting hoses between the floating production unit (FPU) and the tankers are exceptionally demanding. The hoses must not only remain flexible at temperatures below the freezing point, they must also withstand pressures of up to 20 bar. Until now, hoses 8 inches in diameter have been used to fill tankers. In future, ContiTech is going to launch hoses up to 24 inches in diameter. Loading and unloading times will be considerably reduced, larger tankers can be used and all that can take place under difficult ambient conditions.

"With ContiTech we have found an experienced partner with vast technical know-how in the marine sector," explains Hugo Heerema, president of Bluewater Energy Service. The company has already gained experience with composite hoses required for the transport of LNG and owns important patents for this technology of the oil and gas company, BHP Billiton.

Special hoses for liquefied natural gas

An impression of how the new hoses will look in operation.

Special hoses for liquefied natural gas