The “Great” Tokyo Gas Terminal : Sodegaura
Tuesday, 8th December 2009, we were on the bus to Chiba. Chiba is located in east side of Tokyo, precise in front of the Tokyo Bay. In this prefecture we can find Tokyo Gas, Sodegaura Terminal. We went through the tunnel across the Tokyo Bay in order to reach that destination.
A couple of hours in the bus, finally, we arrived in the office of Tokyo Gas, Sodegaura Terminal. We were welcome by the Tokyo Gas’s official. The first thing we should do is receiving much information through the presentation held by one of several important person. Some information that i got are the following.
There are a lot of sources that can provide energy to costumer; LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), Petroleum and Coal. Among that three energy sources, LNG is the most eco-sources. During the combustion, LNG produce no Sulfur Oxide, 20~40% Nitrogen Oxide compare to coal production and 60% Carbon Dioxide compare to coal production. So LNG is a clean energy source.
Tokyo Gas is now one of the world’s largest receiving terminals. The efficiency level is 70 – 80%. This company receive or import LNG from 6 countries. They are Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Alaska (USA) and Qatar. This company receive in total 68.14 million ton. The most sender is Indonesia with 13.95 million ton. In order to transfer the Natural Gas, mainly methane gas, is liquefied when cooled to -162 C. This process reduce the volume until 1/600th and the mass transportation by carrier becomes possible.
Tokyo Gas, Sodegaura Terminal is the biggest and the first exclusive terminal of LNG in Japan and supplies City Gas. Tokyo Gas has established a comprehensive gas transmission system. They constructed a natural trunk line encircles the Tokyo Metropolitan area, and a submarine trunk line across Tokyo Bay. 42% is supplied to the city and the rest is distributed to TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. In TEPCO this energy sources is proceed to produce electricity.
Every process of receiving, maintaining, supplying and distributing are very important. Therefore, all of that process are fully controlled or automated. This system may help to increase the level of safety and also to control the level of efficiency and reliable quality. This system is observed through one control center. 10 person are in charge for this duty.
The second event was an experimental show of the LNG. As we know, LNG is a natural gas which is cooled until -162 degree C. This physical condition is very extremely cool. If a ship-contain LNG is sinking, at the first time the seawater will be freezing for a while because of that temperature. After that moment, the ice is melting gradually. This physical condition was also tested to various stuffs such as ball and flower. All of that stuff is freezing and easily destroyed.
The other thing that which was also experimented was the fire possibility moment. As we know that a fire will be existed if there are oxygen, fuel (in this case LNG) and heat. In that show, the heat was locating precisely in front of the LNG’s bottle. But, the fire wasn’t happening. Why? Because there were no oxygen. The LNG was evaporating and there was no place for oxygen in front of the LNG’s bottles. Because of this condition, when we were filling in the natural gas in the balloon, the balloon would fly. The natural gas is evaporating easily.
The last event we did in this Factory Study Tour is Touring around the Tokyo Gas’s Plant. There are around 20 Compressor in this area. Some of them were given a name and symbolized based on the importing country. This terminal is able to anchor 3 ships ; for Liquid-Line, Gas-Line and LPG-line. Some of the liquid phase is vaporizer into gas phase using ORV (Open Rack Type Vaporizer). This ORTV is using Sea Water. All of the gas-phase are distributed for consumption needed such as City Gas, TEPCO production, TGBP Sodegaura etc. But, the liquid-phase is proceed for another domestic distribution.
After the tour, we went back to the office and had some discussion with the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s Alumni. There were quite many questions in this discussion. The reason, the process, the recruitment possibility, the salary etc. There were so many information that we got in that discussion. Since we know that energy is quite interesting topic to be discussed and also we all know that energy has very important role in human life sustainability.
Having 70-80% efficiency and prioritizing in using Liquefied Natural Gas indicates that Tokyo Gas Sodegaura Terminal is in position in keeping the human life sustainability with eco-technology.
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