‘You may never use the products we make, but everyone uses the products we make possible’, is the slogan that Chart Industries Inc., designer and manufacturer of cryogenic equipment, believes really captures the essence of the company.

Chart’s most recent innovation is its proprietary brazed aluminium heat exchangers (BAHX) – becoming the first of its type to produce LNG on-board a floating facility.

gasworld spoke exclusively to Chart Industries Director of Marketing, Paul Shields, about the workings of BAHX and the significance of being able to produce LNG on-board a floating vessel.

How proud are you to have produced the very first proprietary brazed aluminium heat exchangers?

Extremely proud because the achievement is far more than equipment supply and entirely consistent with our business ethos, which is to work closely with key stakeholders and provide solutions to market challenges.

Can you tell me a little more about BAHX and how it works?

BAHX are custom designed, highly efficient, compact heat exchange devices that offer far superior heat transfer performance and operational flexibility versus other heat exchanger types. Because of their substantially lower weight, scalability, modular construction and proven performance, BAHX are uniquely suited to the rigors of floating vessels, where space is at a premium and reliability is paramount. BAHX are incorporated into a cold box, which provides insulation, shipping and fire protection, flanged connections for easy hook up and a single structure for installation.

What is the significance of being able to produce LNG on-board a floating vessel?

Floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) offers the ability to unlock offshore, previously stranded, natural gas reserves without the need for pipelines and onshore processing. In the same way that land based mid-scale LNG is challenging the paradigm that a base load plant offers the best economy of scale, this particular project proves the same size and modular construction concepts for offshore mid-scale LNG, enabling previously stranded gas reserves to be monetised relatively quickly, easily and competitively.

What could this mean for the LNG market?

It enables owners of previously stranded reserves to monetise their assets, even if they’re offshore, to provide clean burning natural gas.

Finally, is there anything you’re working on at the moment that you could tell us about?

‘Cryogenic processing’ is at the core of our business and we continue to pioneer adoption of natural gas as an alternative to diesel, coal and other distillates for power generation, transportation and industry. We also help industry use atmospheric gases more efficiently and creatively and recently that has included supplying the world’s largest cryogenic storage vessels for the ITER fusion project, through to our nitrogen dosers playing a key role in the revolution in the craft brewery industry and the nitro coffee phenomenon.

In Life Sciences Chart’s MVE brand is synonymous with the safe and secure biological protection and storage of highly sensitive human and animal tissue, and the oxygen concentrators we provide through our CAIRE brand are improving the quality of life for patients with respiratory illness.

Production of LNG on board the Exmar Caribbean in Nantong, China

Production of LNG on board the Exmar Caribbean in Nantong, China

Source: Black & Veatch