LNG (liquefied natural gas) is one of the most important energy sources of the present and future. To meet the rising demand, new LNG terminals are being developed. For small and medium-sized offshore or nearshore terminals, floating storage units (FSU) or floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) are used to store the liquefied natural gas before it is regasified and transmitted via pipelines.
For onboard operation, FSU and FSRU require electricity, and here lies the significant advantages of shore power supply: generators, bunkering or regasification on board are not necessary.
LNG terminals are large production facilities with limited access due to their location and hazardous production zones. Operation has to be guaranteed around the clock. All installed systems must therefore withstand harsh weather conditions and be extremely reliable, robust, low-maintenance and ideally maintenance-free.
The connection of the FSU/FSRU with shore power leads to a few challenges for developing and installing cable management systems:
igus has developed special energy chains for applications in rough and demanding surroundings that guide the cables safely and reliably: the e-loop and the offshore chain OSC.
Both products combine the advantages of a plastic energy chain with those of a polymer rope with high tensile strength. The tensile forces are absorbed by the special rope and passed through the mounting brackets into the support structure. As a result, the cables are completely free of strain. The modular design of the energy chain made of high-performance polymers ensures a defined bend radius of the cables and withstands vibrations and shocks, e.g. due to wind loads.
igus provides complete systems with chainflex cables for moving applications, harnessed with couplers or junction boxes, tested and with a guarantee of 36 months.
For the new offshore LNG terminal in Bahrain, Schneider Electric and igus have developed the world's first shore power supply system for a floating storage unit. The core component of the system is a flexible cable feed system that bridges the 30m distance between the crossbar and the FSU.