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Northstar Wins Contract To Test New LNG Receiving Technology

[Daily News] Northstar Industries, Inc. has been awarded a contract by Conversion Gas Imports, LP (CGI) of Houston, Texas to design, install and test the prototype Bishop Process Exchanger, a new heat exchanger design which will vaporize Liquefied Natural Gas with much greater efficiency than currently used technologies.
The Bishop Process Exchanger (BPE) is an integral component of the salt-cavern based Bishop Process Terminal, a new method of receiving LNG imports into U.S. and foreign markets, which delivers higher volumes at lower cost, while increasing safety and security. In commercial applications, the BPE will utilize freshwater or seawater as a warmant to vaporize LNG at high flow rates and pressures, delivering the vaporized gas directly into underground gas storage, negating the need for large above ground tanks.

CGI has commissioned this work as part of their research to live field test the modeled results of an earlier research study. Both the earlier study and this research is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and industry participants, including BP Plc, ExxonMobil Corp., ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil Corp., EnCana Corporation, Dominion Resources Inc. and AGL Resources.

CGI developed the concept, and holds key patents associated with the process, including the BPE. In discussing CGI's technology, U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham noted the Bishop Process has the potential "to expand LNG imports and augment the nation's energy supply."

Dave Miller, Northstar's project manager for the project, notes, "Northstar's expertise in the design and manufacture of complete natural gas and LNG delivery systems, enabled us to submit a proposal that meets the primary objective of the RFP to confirm the heat transfer capabilities and LNG vaporization performance of the BPE, and also includes building the prototype utilizing methods, components, and designs, which will allow CGI to optimize the manufacturing process for commercial production of the BPE."

Tom Quine, president of Northstar, further notes, "The beauty of the Bishop Process is its simplicity. It is based on existing natural gas and LNG technologies, but it combines them in a manner, which enhances the capabilities of each individual process to provide a more secure and efficient method to receive LNG imports. Northstar is proud to be able to play a role in the development of the BPE, utilizing our Total Solutions Approach to provide a turnkey solution for this phase of the research. There clearly is a need for increased LNG imports to supplement the growing 23 tcf per year U.S. gas market."

The prototype BPE will be installed and tested at AGL Resources Cherokee LNG Facility, north of Atlanta, Georgia. Testing is expected to be completed at the end of the current 2003-2004 heating season, with the first commercial installation to be completed in 2005.

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