The UK faces a significant energy challenge over the coming years and the exciting developments taking place at the Isle of Grain, in Kent, will ensure National Grid plays a major role in meeting that challenge.
First commissioned in 2005 as an LNG importation facility, the Grain LNG terminal had the capacity to receive and process up to 3.3 million tonnes of LNG (4.4 billion cubic metres of gas) per annum, equivalent to 13 million cubic metres (140GWh/d) of gas per day. Grain LNG’s customers determine the actual LNG throughput.
A 20-year contract is in place with BP/Sonatrach for this first phase of capacity to enable them to import LNG into the UK from other countries. LNG is an ideal way to transport and store gas, as cooled to –161 degrees centigrade it takes up 600 times less space in its liquid form.
Expansion of the terminal, to triple capacity to 9.8 million tonnes per annum (12 per cent of UK gas demand), is now complete with three of the biggest above ground full containment LNG storage tanks in the world. Each individual tank is big enough to encompass London’s Royal Albert Hall and can hold as much LNG as the first phase of the plant. This capacity has been sold and is now available to three customers, Sonatrach, Centrica and GDF SUEZ. These tanks store the LNG which comes to Grain’s state-of-the-art jetties from all over the world.
Each of these tanks will store liquefied natural gas (LNG), which comes to Grain from all over the world via special vessels which dock at the state-of-the-art jetty. More development of the site will be made over the next few years to ensure that it remains at the forefront when it comes to meeting the UK's energy needs, with a further expansion currently underway to provide an additional 5 million tonnes of capacity in time for winter 2010/11.
On 1 December 2010, further expansion came on-line, giving the site an additional 5 million tonnes of capacity through an additional storage tank and second jetty, able to take the world's largest LNG carrier - the Q-Max. The capacity owners for this phase are Centrica, E.ON Ruhrgas and Iberdrola.
National Grid Grain LNG aims to be the foremost LNG importation terminal in the world, with a first-class team delivering high performance for our customers, communities and National Grid, through unparalleled safety, reliability and efficiency.
Grain LNG is committed to protecting the environment for future generations and supporting their energy needs, through being an innovative, socially responsible business.