MAN Energy Solutions and Woodside Energy, prominent company in the Australian LNG industry, have signed a co-operation agreement aimed at commercialising an innovative solution for small-to-mid scale LNG production. Known as ‘Factory LNG’, the technology combines Woodside’s intellectual property and LNG experience with MAN’s manufacturing and project-execution expertise.

The concept involves a nominal 0.05 Mtpa (million tonnes per annum) unit, the size of 40-foot ISO shipping container, that can be transported via standard heavy-lift shipping and trucking logistics. It also includes MAN’s ‘Hofim’ high-speed, oil-free, motor-compressor technology as used, for example, in subsea compression-station applications.

Factory LNG is said to offer 10 years’ low-to-no-touch maintenance and provides flexible layout options making it easily adaptable to site constraints. The partners believe the newly developed infrastructure has the potential to unlock scalable liquefaction capabilities at multiple locations around the world. 

Woodside vice president Technology Jason Crusan described it as a simple and reliable solution for end users, offering an attractive and accessible option for displacing fuels such as diesel oil with cleaner and cheaper LNG. “Woodside sees an important role for natural gas in a lower-carbon future. We are committed to diversifying markets for LNG, including as a lower-emissions fuel for activities such as trucking and shipping. The Factory LNG system also brings potential for green fuel production by coupling it with synthetic methane units or bio-gas production.”