An initial fleet out of 40 specially constructed ISO containers, designed and built by Chart Ferox, was used recently to realise the LNG ambitions on Madeira Island.

The fleet was used to supply approximately 500m³ of LNG by Grupo Sousa – Gáslink Gás Natural S.A to Madeira Electricity Company’s Thermo Electric Power Plant, CTVIII.

The first LNG shipment was loaded into 14 Chart Ferox ISO containers at Sines LNG Terminal on Portugal’s mainland, and transported through the Port of Lisbon more than 950km by sea, before a further road journey to Portugal’s newest satellite LNG plant – and the only one located on an island.

This process of delivering natural gas to regions not connected to a national grid is known as a ‘virtual pipeline’.

The virtual pipeline solution is fully flexible and can be adapted to suit the island’s future power demand. It utilises existing port resources, including maritime cargo handling, container ships in regular cabotage, roads, trucks and manpower, and does not require any additional port infrastructure or capabilities.

In a statement, Chart Ferox described its pride at its role in ‘bringing the environmental and economic benefits of natural gas to the island of Madeira’ and how it “would like to place on record our thanks to our project partners in the Grupo Sousa organisation, with whom we are able to address all the logistical and technical challenges this pioneering project presented.”

“Together we can declare that the LNG virtual pipeline concept is now a reality on Madeira,” the company added.