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Air Products’ technology selected for 1st phase of expansion project in Qatar

By Gerald Ondrey |

Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.) has been selected to provide its proprietary AP-X Natural Gas Liquefaction Process technology and equipment to Qatargas for the first phase of Qatar Petroleum’s massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) production expansion project, commonly known as the North Field East (NFE) Project, in Ras Laffan, the State of Qatar. Each of the four new LNG process units, the largest LNG production trains in the world, will have a production capacity of 7.8 million metric tons per year (m.t./yr).

When these mega LNG trains become operational in 2025 liquefying natural gas from Qatar’s North Field, regarded as the largest offshore non-associated natural gas field in the world, Qatar will maintain its position as the world’s number one LNG producer.

“The truest sign of a satisfied customer is one that comes back and places another order, and Air Products is both pleased and proud that our premier technology was selected again for the newest phase of this massive LNG expansion project in Qatar. Our AP-X liquefaction technology sets the standard for the industry and offers the largest LNG process trains in the world, satisfying our customer’s desire to reduce capital cost per metric ton of LNG produced via economy of scale. These immense AP-X units have a process production capacity that is 50% larger than any other LNG train in operation and positions Air Products well for any customer requiring larger LNG process trains,” says Samir J. Serhan, chief operating officer at Air Products.

Air Products has supplied key equipment and technology for all of Qatar’s 14 existing LNG trains operating in Ras Laffan, the first of which started production in 1996 using Air Products’ AP-C3MRTM LNG technology. These AP-C3MR LNG Process units were followed by six AP-X LNG Process units, which started up between 2009 and 2011. The Air Products equipment provided with the proprietary AP-X natural gas liquefaction technology includes main cryogenic heat exchangers (MCHEs), subcooling heat exchangers (SCHEs), and Rotoflow turbomachinery companders and nitrogen economizer cold boxes. Rotoflow is an equipment division of Air Products working with our LNG equipment and cycle experts to provide seamless product development and optimal liquefier performance for end users.

The proven AP-X process is an elegant solution that enables significantly higher LNG production without requiring individual equipment items to be significantly larger and provides an efficient and flexible operation over a wide range of production capacities.

Air Products will build the AP-X LNG heat exchangers at its Port Manatee, Florida manufacturing facility. Air Products opened its Port Manatee facility in January 2014 and completed a 60% expansion in October 2019 to meet the needs of the ever-growing LNG industry. In October 2018, a new LNG equipment test facility (ETF) was dedicated which will enable Air Products to improve the reliability and yield produced from its LNG equipment and design new equipment.


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