Record Gas Flow from Northeast Gateway Deepwater Terminal

Credit: Excelerate Energy
Credit: Excelerate Energy

By The Maritime Executive 02-14-2019 06:22:54

Excelerate Energy’s Northeast Gateway Deepwater Terminal, located offshore Boston, reached a peak send-out flow rate of over 800,000 MMBTU per day of natural gas on February 1, 2019, a first for the terminal. 

The operation was completed by two of Excelerate’s floating storage regasification units (FSRUs), Exemplar and Express discharging in parallel through Excelerate’s proprietary offshore buoys.

The terminal is designed to respond to local market conditions in real-time and can ramp up service to ensure energy providers meet customer demand. During the coldest days of the year, demand for natural gas from residential customers rises in New England. Historically, during these times, as natural gas deliveries become constrained, and power generators have been forced to burn dirtier fuels such as oil. 

This year, LNG imports from Excelerate’s Northeast Gateway facility have allowed the generators to continue burning natural gas. At a flow rate of 800,000 MMBTU per day, this represents approximately the average gas demand of power generators during recent January – February periods.

Located 13 miles offshore Boston, Excelerate commissioned Northeast Gateway in 2008. The terminal consists of a dual submerged turret-loading buoy system which allows for the connection of FSRUs that have been specifically designed to meet the challenging conditions of the North Atlantic. FSRUs act, in all aspects, similar to a land-based terminal and have the onboard capability to vaporize LNG and deliver natural gas directly into the existing 16-mile subsea HubLine pipeline operated by Enbridge’s Algonquin Gas Transmission.

The terminal started up in 2008 and was the first LNG terminal to integrate marine mammal detection technology with its LNG fleet operations. Operating at Northeast Gateway means operating among a declining right whale population, and Excelerate partnered with Cornell University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to develop a system that detects their presence. Aided by this tool, ships voluntarily reduce speeds around sensitive areas.