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Basic Design of LNG Receiving Terminals


Tokyo Gas itself performed the basic design and construction work for its four main LNG receiving terminals (in Negishi, Sodegaura, Ohgishima and, most recently, Hitachi), as well as LNG satellite plants such as the Hitachi and Onahama Satellite Stations. This basic design takes full advantage of our years of experience operating and maintaining such terminals, and makes use of wide-ranging know-how to keep down construction and running costs while ensuring reliability, operability, maintainability, and safety.



1.Selection of location

LNG receiving terminals are sited taking into account numerous factors. These include:
  • Ease of use of LNG (e.g., accessibility to the gas demand area by pipelines)
  • Access to port that LNG ships can safely and reliably enter to unload
  • Ease and stability of access to electricity, seawater, and other utility services
  • Impact on local environment, safety, disaster prevention, etc.
  • Cost performance

2.Determination of gas production and storage capacity

A terminal’s gas production capacity needs to be known in order to decide the capacity and number of LNG facilities to install, and is determined based on peak gas demand per hour, facility reserve margins, and so on. It is also important to forecast production capacity in the future.
LNG storage capacity is important to know as it has a major impact on terminal layout and investment plans. It is determined based on factors including the capacity required to absorb seasonal variations and cope with emergencies.

3.Receiving terminal processes

LNG receiving terminals consist of many facilities, including unloading facilities, LNG tanks, LNG pumps, BOG compressors, vaporizers, odorizing facilities. The optimal sequence of processes is mapped out by conducting case studies to confirm reliability, ease of use, maintainability, and many other things.
Example of sequence of processes at an LNG receiving terminal


Facilities are laid out according to the sequence of processes at a terminal (pier→tank→pump→vaporizer→sendout). They are divided by function into separate yards to improve operability. More specifically, terminals are divided up into berth yards, tank yards, vaporizer yards, and so forth by roads and other features.


A receiving terminal’s main facilities need to be inspected and maintained as necessary, which means we need to have an appropriate number of reserve units. Space must also be provided around facilities to allow room for inspection and maintenance work.

6.Applicable laws

LNG receiving terminals are subject to various laws. When building one, therefore, the applicable laws must be properly investigated and the terminal designed in compliance with them. Negotiations with the relevant authorities and applications and other procedures must also be completed.

7.Design of individual LNG facilities

When designing a terminal’s various facilities (such as those used for unloading, LNG storage, vaporizing, supply, disaster prevention, electricity supply, and monitoring), decisions must be made on various factors, including performance, structure, and materials used while giving due consideration to reliability, operability, and maintainability,. These factors are determined based on required performance, applicable laws and regulations, production time, and cost, the natural conditions (e.g., weather, sea, and geological conditions), seismic design requirements, properties of the LNG to be handled (e.g., origin, composition, density, and calorific value), gas sendout conditions (flow, pressure, calorific value, etc.), LNG carrier specifications (main dimensions and unloading speed), and so forth.

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