STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Trelleborg A.B. has purchased SBM Offshore N.V.'s cryogenic hose system technology in a move aimed at bolstering its presence in the floating liquefied natural gas market.
Trelleborg's Industrial Solutions business made the acquisition because the technology will help strengthen a cryogenic hose system the company is developing with Saipem S.p.A., a supplier to the oil and gas industry headquartered in Italy.
The new transfer hose system, expected to be completed and qualified in 2014, will be used to extract floating liquid natural gas in more demanding environments, according to Mikael Fryklund, president of Trelleborg Industrial Solutions.
Production of the hose system will take place at the company's Clermont-Ferrand, France, plant, a Trelleborg spokeswoman said. Saipem and Trelleborg have been working on an offloading system since 2009, she said, using floating cryogenic flexible hoses to transfer gases as liquid natural gas or liquid petroleum gas in open seas.
Floating liquefied natural gas is a cost-effective, flexible way for commercializing new gas discoveries in deep water locations, the company said. Currently, it said, there are few qualified systems available for offloading floating liquefied natural gas.
"For some time now, Trelleborg has held a leading global position within oil hose systems for offshore offloading," Fryklund said. With the technology acquired from SBM, "we will strengthen our total offering within offloading oil and gas."
Meanwhile, he said SBM will continue to be a strategic partner to Trelleborg in the development of technologies. In the 2000s, the firms jointly developed Trelline technology for oil offloading line transfer systems, according to the spokes- woman.
Historically, liquid natural gas off-loading has been conducted solely at fixed locations connected to land, Fryklund said, but that is changing because the technology is being developed to take advantage of offshore offloading of floating natural gas.
"This shift creates new technological challenges requiring a more flexible offloading system that enables the extraction of (liquid natural gas) in more demanding environments, without extended downtime and with a significantly reduced risk," he said.
Acquiring cryogenic technology from SBM will hasten Trelleborg's ongoing development and qualification of the new hose system, the Trelleborg spokeswoman said.
It also opens the door for the floating liquid natural gas market to become a significant one for the company, according to Fryklund.
In addition to developing its hose system with Saipem, Trelleborg is working on a cooling seawater suction hose system for the floating liquefied natural gas market. The company plans to market it in 2014.