The natural gas consumption is expected to grow significantly in the next decades. The need for building LNG import terminals with significant storage capacity is quite often a critical aspect due to restriction of land in the area of interest and environmental constraints. A new concept for the storage of LNG in underground mined rock caverns is considered as very efficient in term of land occupation, environmental and visual impact at ground surface, safety and cost.
The concept consists in the combination of two well-proven technologies: the storage of gas and liquid hydrocarbons in underground mined cavern and the membrane containment used for conventional LNG tanks and ocean carriers. The advantages of underground LNG storage in rock caverns are followings: Safety – storage less vulnerable to external hazards, Security – high protection against terrorism, Footprint – very limited surface impact, Environment – no visual impact, and Size – virtually no limitation of size.
In this paper, after a description of the concept and the main process, the studies will be performed for the location flexibility and various unloading methods such as flexible hose, vacuum insulated pipe, pipe to pipe and pipe channel to apply the underground mined rock cavern as a LNG storage method. The preliminary design of the storage is presented including the general lay-out for a storage capacity of 200,000 ton.
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