Song Byeong-tak, Senior Manager (KALM site) / Bang Yeong-taek, Senior Manager (KALM site)
Cha Su-ho, Researcher (Plant Research Team) / Jin Sung-ho, Researcher (Plant Research Team)
The Kuwait EPCC of Al-Zour LNG Terminal (KALM) project is the first LNG import terminal to be constructed in Kuwait, the largest LNG importing country in the Middle East region as of 2019. The large-scale project includes the reclamation of the seven-million-cubic meter sea, and the construction of eight LNG storage tanks with a capacity of 225,500 cubic meters and a regasification facility with a capacity of three billion cubic meters of gas per day on the reclaimed land. Hyundai E&C is responsible for the reclamation of the site for the LNG storage tanks and the construction of berth facilities, while Hyundai Engineering is in charge of the construction of an evaporation and supply plant, and Korea Gas Corporation is working on pre-commissioning and providing training on the operation of the LNG terminal for the client. The KALM project lays the foundation for clean energy in one of the world’s largest oil exporting countries. The LNG storage tanks standing tall boast of Hyundai E&C’s technological capabilities based on the cooperation between the KALM construction site and R&D Division.
Please introduce yourself.
Senior Manager Song Byeong-tak (Song) Hello. I have been in charge of mechanical execution at the Execution Team since I was assigned to the KALM site in December 2017. It’s been a long time. How have you been?
Researcher Cha Su-ho (Cha) I have been great. Thanks. I am working on responding to corrosion and executing corrosion science-related works at the Plant Research Team. Did you all had rice cake soup on Lunar New Year’s Day?
Senior Manager Bang Yeong-taek (Bang) Yes, I did. (haha) Happy Lunar New Year to you all, though it’s a bit late. I have been responsible for managing LNG tank quality at the QA/QC Team since December 2017.
Researcher Jin Sung-ho (Jin) We rarely had a chance to talk due to the busy schedule. It is great to have you all here. I am working on the development of mechanized and automated welding techniques and the technical support at the Plant Research Team.
Hyundai E&C constructed eight LNG storage tanks with a capacity of 225,500 cubic meters at the same time, which is the first and largest of its kind in the world. Notably, the two parts have closely cooperated to conduct key construction works.
Bang When I arrived here, the project site was almost empty because the site preparation was on the way. Looking back on that time, I cannot believe how we could build up all these tanks. (haha)
Song We constructed eight mega-sized LNG storage tanks made of nine percent nickel steel. This is known to be the first of its kind in the world. We forged a close cooperation in welding works, hydrostatic testing and development of ways to prevent corrosion.
Cha Liquefied natural gas stems from natural gas that has been cooled down to liquid form. When liquefied, natural gas takes up about 1/600th the volume of that in the gaseous state, making it easier to transport and store. Since LNG is kept at – 162°C, nine percent nickel steel is utilized which is able to arrest a running crack and have improved toughness and ductility even at an extremely low temperature.
Jin To secure quality of the LNG storage tanks, materials used to weld nine percent nickel steel are also important. The existing welding rods on the market are not specialized in nine percent nickel steel. And we found out that Hyundai Welding developed welding materials specializing in nine percent nickel steel in 2017. At the site preparation stages, we conducted a blind test on welding rods of various brands. The test results indicated that the product made by Hyundai Welding is less sensitive to cracking at high temperature, compared to those of the U.S. and Italian companies.
Song As Korean-made materials were applied to the overseas construction site for the first time, we made thorough efforts to provide training programs on the use of welding rods, manage the capability of welding operators from local subcontractors, and observe welding surfaces with the naked eyes. I believe that such efforts could lay the foundation for Korean materials and technologies to enter the overseas markets.
Execution capability of the KALM site and research capability of the R&D Division appear to achieve a synergy effect.
Jin Upon the actual application of the test-based results, the KALM site conducted monitoring and management on a constant basis. Those in charge of welding and corrosion from the Plant Division and the R&D Division supported the KALM project by forming a taskforce team. I hope all the employees involved in the project work together through constant and active research activities.
Bang The KALM project is KIPIC’s (Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company) first LNG terminal project. Therefore, we often persuaded the client and worked jointly to establish relevant standards. Every time the client asked us to submit official answers from specialized research institutions, the TFT of the R&D Division provided immediate responses in relation to welding and corrosion, which was a big help for the construction site.
Cha The client could be satisfied since we made use of data collected from actual testing. It is not easy to conduct research and apply the results to real-life situations. The KALM site has been active in accepting the research findings and cooperating with open-minded attitude, leading to generating good results.
Song We could safely complete the construction through the close cooperation in the key construction works. I hope such close cooperation will enhance the capability of Hyundai E&C in the future.