Svenska

Swedegas in collaboration with Port of Gothenburg

FAQs

FAQs

ABOUT LNG

• What is LNG?
LNG is liquefied natural gas and consists mainly of methane. When natural gas is converted from gas into liquid at a temperature of -162°C, it is compressed over 600 times and can be transported efficiently in tanks by sea, rail or road. LNG is colourless, non-toxic and has no smell.

• What does LNG mean for the environment?
LNG competes mainly with oil as carbon emissions are 25 per cent lower. Compared with coal, carbon emissions are 40 per cent lower. Other emissions, such as heavy metals, nitric oxide, particles and soot, are considerably lower. Sulphur emissions are almost zero. When LNG replaces heavy oil as a marine fuel, there is a dramatic fall in climate impact and eutrophication of the ocean.

• Where does LNG come from?
LNG is produced in a number of regions, including Asia, the Middle East and Norway. From there it is transported in large sea tankers to import terminals in countries such as the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Spain. It is then transferred to smaller ships that are suited to a reception terminal.

• How does LNG reach Gothenburg?
LNG is transported to Gothenburg using sea tankers designed for transporting LNG. The ships are built and equipped with tanks and equipment to handle LNG at low temperature. An LNG tanker has a double hull, which makes it very strong and also offers extra protection in the event of a collision or if the ship runs aground.

• How is it transported from the facility?
LNG can be transported by rail, road or smaller sea tanker. At the present time, liquefied natural gas is only transported to Sweden by road tanker. An LNG tanker has an inner and outer pressure tank. The maximum volume of LNG that can be transported using a road tanker is approximately 70 m3.

LNG can also be gasified and transported in the existing infrastructure, i.e. the gas grid.

• What is the level of demand for LNG?
Liquefied natural gas can replace oil and coal where it is not possible to connect to the gas grid. There is a particular demand for LNG in shipping, which requires large volumes of fuel. In 2015 came into effect that shipping faced stricter regulations, governing how much sulphur ships are permitted to emit in the Baltic, the North Sea and the English Channel. Using LNG as a fuel, sulphur emissions are virtually zero.

LNG is also in demand among industrial companies seeking to switch to natural gas but which are not connected to the Swedegas infrastructure. LNG can be used as a processing fuel and as a raw material. It is simple to handle and it is safe, competitive and more environmentally friendly than oil and coal. It will allow many companies the opportunity to achieve their environmental objectives more quickly.

In the transport sector, which is looking to switch to more environmentally friendly fuel for heavy transport, natural gas is also a competitive alternative.The technology for producing LNG has been around for a long time although in recent years there has been an enormous upturn in interest, thanks largely to greater awareness of the environmental benefits and the fall in price on the world market.

ABOUT SAFETY

• Does an LNG facility represent a risk?
LNG is stored and transported at an extremely low temperature, -162°C. The discharge and loading of LNG is subject to strict safety regulations. All pumps are shut down automatically if there is a danger of a leak, which means there is a very low risk of emissions on land and water. The facility will have a flare that acts as a safety valve if the pressure becomes too high.

• What would happen if there was an LNG leak?
If LNG were to escape, it would evaporate very easily due to the large temperature difference between LNG and air and it would rise quickly as the gas is lighter than air. The water particles in the air freeze and form a white, visible cloud. The gas cloud rises until it disappears into the atmosphere. Small emissions move rapidly into the gas phase and rise. Large emissions remain on the ground and evaporate. The intensity of the evaporation depends on the ground surface and the temperature as well as the area of the surface of the liquid. The gas is non-toxic.

• Is LNG dangerous?
Liquefied natural gas comprises mainly methane, which is free of smell and is non-toxic and colourless. LNG does not burn. For a fire to occur, the liquid must be gasified, there must be a certain relationship between the natural gas and air and the gas must come into contact with an ignition source. If you are exposed to LNG that has evaporated, there is no risk of poisoning or chemical effects. If liquefied natural gas were to leak, it would cool down the surrounding surfaces, which could lead to a risk of frostbite.

• What risks does LNG entail compared with oil?

Petrol and fuel oil are more easily combustible in liquid form and contain toxic components. If these hydrocarbons were to leak out, this would affect the environment. In contrast, LNG has fewer hazardous features than any other comparable fuel. 

• Can LNG burn?
Liquefied natural gas does not burn. For a fire to occur, the liquid must be gasified, there must be a certain relationship between the natural gas and air and the gas must come into contact with an ignition source. It is only when LNG has entered the gas phase and becomes methane gas that it is combustible. In that case the combustion range is narrow and it can only burn if the methane content in the air is 4-16 per cent.

• Can LNG explode?
LNG is methane, which in gaseous form can create combustible mixtures with air. A cloud of methane gas cannot explode outdoors. In enclosed spaces, explosive mixtures can form under certain conditions.
Neither experiments nor the near-accidents that have taken place have demonstrated that a methane gas cloud after an LNG leak can cause delayed detonation, which has been observed with other more reactive hydrocarbon gases.

• What risks are involved in transporting LNG?
Historically, there have been very few accidents when LNG is being transported by ship or LNG transporter. The ships and the trailers that are used have a double hull and there are extremely few occasions when LNG has leaked out after an accident. LNG is classified as hazardous goods and there are extensive rules and regulations governing transport by road, rail and sea. 
 
ABOUT THE TERMINAL 
 
• Which stakeholders are behind the LNG facility in Gothenburg?
Behind the initiative are Swedegas in collaboration with the Port of Gothenburg.

Swedegas is an infrastructure company that owns the Swedish gas grid and transmits energy to distributors and directly connected customers.                                             

The Port of Gothenburg is a full-service port and the largest port in Scandinavia. It has the largest energy port in Scandinavia, which is where the LNG facility will be constructed. 

Swedegas neither produces or trades in energy, they only provide the infrastructure for the gas market. This can be compared with the conditions that prevail on the electricity market.

• Why locate the facility in Gothenburg?
The location in Gothenburg is strategic if LNG is to reach the market and parts of Sweden that up to now have limited or no access to natural gas. Ships that call at the Port of Gothenburg also require LNG is a fuel. 

Gothenburg is also a natural hub in a national infrastructure solution that could also include other ports. From Gothenburg, LNG can be loaded onto ships and it can also be easily transported by rail and road throughout the country. From the facility, LNG can also be gasified and transported into the gas grid. 

• How big will the facility be and where will it be located? 
When it is fully operational, it will have a capacity of approximately 33,000 m³. The entire facility will be located at the Energy Port. Refined oil products, renewable energy products, chemicals and a small volume of crude oil are currently discharged and loaded at Skarvikshamnen.
 
• Are there houses and areas of natural beauty near the LNG Terminal?
Directly beside the facility there are only industrial operations and other port facilities. The nearest housing areas are at Nya Varvet and Klippan, on the other side of the river and south of the area. Eastwards, the nearest housing areas are on the other side of the Älvsborg Bridge, at Eriksberg.

West of the facility is Torsviken, which is a Natura 2000 area. This is not affected by the planned operations due to the distance of approximately 4.5 kilometres. Nor does the terminal area affect national outdoor pursuits interests. The border is farther out, at the estuary of the Göta Älv, which is outside the Port of Gothenburg area.

• What does it mean to be an Open Access facility?
Open Access means that any company that is interested in supplying LNG to the Swedish market can contract capacity. This allows end-customers to purchase LNG at the best price on the world market. 

An open LNG facility means that ownership and operation of the infrastructure are kept separate from energy production and trading. By applying this principle, we comply with the Swedish Natural Gas Act and EU regulations and directives as applied throughout the rest of Europe. This makes the facility in Gothenburg, with its Open Access solution, unique among existing and planned LNG facility in Sweden.

• What is the role of an independent operator? 
Swedegas do not trade in LNG or natural gas. As an independent company, they offer their services to all companies that could be interested in contracting capacity. This allows unrestricted competition and is a prerequisite if end-customers are to have access to gas at the best price on the world market.
 
• What other LNG facilities are there in Europe? 
There are terminals in countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the United Kingdom. Several European countries are planning to construct more terminals and to expand existing terminals. The LNG facility in Gothenburg will be part of a North European gas infrastructure, which can assure the supply of natural gas in our part of the world.