Methane Conversion for Highway Fuel Use (Floating Plant Methanol Production System)
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Methane Conversion for Highway Fuel Use (Floating Plant Methanol Production System)

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  • Alternative Title:
    Methane Conversion for Highway Fuel Use— Phase II Final Implementation Plan Floating Methanol Plantship [Title from Cover]
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    Final Report
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  • Abstract:
    This Phase II Final Report presents implementation plans and quotation assembly drawings for construction of a plantship designed to convert natural gas to methanol. The Phase I Final Report presented an assessment of the technical and economic feasibility of producing fuel grade methanol aboard a floating conversion plant using natural gas from offshore resources uneconomically produced by conventional means, i.e., via a subsea pipeline to shoreside markets. Feasibility in all respects was confirmed. It was determined that fuel methanol production by this means from these resources is cost advantageous as compared with all alternatives at least through the early 21st century. Operations do not adversely affect the environment. The design was executed in full conformance to regulations of EPA, DOT, MMS and U.S. Coast Guard; required license and permits will be obtainable. Research identified 25 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of appropriate gas in North American waters, and a minimum of 53 TCF in waters adjacent to other continents or islands. These fields can supply 130 plant vessels for 20 years, each producing 3,000 tons of methanol per day (total = 390,000 short ton per day [STPD]); for comparison, domestic gasoline consumption is 850,000 STPD. An analysis shows market penetration first oy methanol blends to enhance fuel octane; by the turn of the century substantial "neat'' methanol substitution for gasoline and diesel oil will occur. The floating plant displaces 180,000 tons, is 780 ft. long, 200 ft wide and operates at a draft of 55 ft. Synthesis gas is produced by catalytic , auto thermal reforming; an ICI synthesis loop converts this to methanol. Construction cost is nom1nally $250 million; the on-board cost of methanol is nominally 18 cents/gallon; transportation to market via tanker adds 3 cents/gallon.
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