Cold chains powered by LNG waste cold

The idea of developing cold chains powered by waste cold from LNG re-gasification is now being actively pursued in India, where Petronet LNG recently invited expressions of interest from companies to help it develop an integrated cold store facility at its LNG import terminal at Dahej, Gujarat. The concept has already been explored by India's National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD), following a report from the IMechE and with the help of analysis from the British energy consultancy E4tech.

A study by E4tech for NCCD has shown how LNG import terminals could become the hubs of extensive import-export cold chains in developing countries (Figure 4 above), and even develop into a broader 'Cold Economy'. The report shows how a typical LNG terminal re-gasifying 7,100 tonnes of LNG per day could produce 2,600 tonnes of liquid nitrogen, enough to provide the cooling for almost 1,100 chilled and frozen refrigerated trucks operating around the clock; and peak time cooling (3 hours a day) for 7,500,000m3 of chilled and frozen buildings, both at the port and at inland warehouses at the other end of the cold chain. For reference, the largest such facility in the world measures around 600,000m3, and the UK has total cold store capacity of 25,000,000m3. India has four LNG import terminals with an annual capacity of 25 million tonnes, expected to expand to 32 million tonnes, and a further 18 terminals have been proposed.

The refrigerated vehicles would be zero-emission, and would also reduce well-to-wheel carbon emissions by between 18% and 56% depending on duty cycle (chilled or frozen) and the carbon intensity of the electricity used, as shown in Table 5.

Table 5: CO2 savings of liquid air transport refrigeration with LNG assist vs diesel. Source: E4tech