Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (SEC) will supply natural gas to both distant industrial and geographically scattered consumers by using Galileo`s Virtual Pipeline® technology.

Once this Virtual Pipeline® is operating, it will be able to distribute natural gas within a 70km radius from Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP), in the Sabah State of East Malaysia, on the northwest coast of Borneo.

While the high costs of laying underground pipelines prevented SEC from distributing natural gas within the inlands of Sabah, Virtual Pipeline® will enable to deliver it cost-effectively just as CNG does.

As a system, Virtual Pipeline® involves three stages before completing the distribution to its final users through a direct connection or a local distribution network. These three stages are: CNG compression, transport and pressure regulation.  In addition, the whole operation is remotely monitored in real time through Galileo’s SCADA System for its proper management.

In its design, Sabah’s Virtual Pipeline® operation starts in the KKIP with a CNG compression process. This process of compression can reach a pressure of up to 250 bar thanks to Microbox® units that work as mother stations. Then, CNG is distributed on modular containers (MAT®) transported by road on specifically designed trailers (VST®) to the daughter stations, which are located in four different spots.

Upon their arrival at the consumption point, the easy-to-operate VST® trailers’ mechanism unload the necessary filled MAT® modules, load the empty ones and the truck continues its route to the next daughter station.

As part of the system´s adaptation capability pursuant to the existing demand of each of the daughter stations, all MATs are connected to Pressure Regulating Plants (PRP®) which supply with natural gas at a suitable range of outlet pressure and flow requested by its final users.

Unlike traditional tube trailer, MATs can be exchanged even if the gas has not yet petered out at the consumption points and, thus, avoiding transport waiting times. Once the truck has exchanged all its modules with the empty ones along its route, it goes back to the mother station to restart the cycle.

This ensures permanent and suitable gas supply according to the consumption demand. It also enables scalability for an optimal sizing to strike a perfect balance between operating and investment costs.

Working with modules allows the system to increase its capacity at the pace of demand, which makes Virtual Pipeline® the most suitable solution for one of the fastest growing regions in Malaysia. Especially when there is a powerful driver to do it in compliance with environmental protection, since Kota Kinabalu is a popular gateway for travelers visiting rainforest areas in Sabah and Borneo.

 “Distributing natural gas via the Virtual Pipeline® System is in line with the aspiration of the State to make this resource available to a wider spectrum of users. Being comparatively much greener and yet competitively priced fuel, natural gas will undoubtedly further spur the growth of industries in the State,” said Yb Datuk Dr. Yee Moh Chai, Deputy Chief Minister Cum Minister of Resource Development and IT of Sabah.

“Apart from savings in fuel costs, industrial users will also achieve other savings due to lower costs in maintenance, handling and storage, manpower, pollution control, etc.,” added Dato Harun HJ Ismail, CEO of Sabah Energy Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (SEC).  

About GALILEO

Since 1983, Galileo has become a global reference in modular technologies for both CNG and LNG production and transportation. Its products’ portfolio includes the widest range of compressors and dispensers for vehicles and vessels; boosters for gas pipelines; and the Virtual Pipeline® system, for gas distribution by road being able to reach remote communities and industries without pipeline network connection. Based in Argentina, Galileo exports and provides ongoing assistance to customers in 65 countries in Latin America, USA, Europe, Africa and Asia.