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Engineering students explore emerging LNG opportunities

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

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DOZENS of engineering students gathered at The University of the West Indies Mona (UWI) during its Research Days to learn more about opportunities in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry locally and overseas.

New Fortress Energy (NFE) Senior Vice-President Kevin Frantz was on hand to break down the 'Seven Wonders of LNG' for the students, a recent release from the company has said.

According to the VP, the 'Seven Wonders of LNG' include reduced energy costs, increased efficiency, improved power quality, environmental stewardship, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, decentralised power, and making LNG the primary source to one's current back-up installation.

“The projects we've completed to date in bringing LNG to Jamaica have put the country leaps and bounds ahead in the Caribbean,” Frantz said during his two-hour presentation. “As engineering students, there are huge opportunities for you to get involved and help shape this growing sector and Jamaica's economic future.”

At the end of the presentation, the students, who represented The UWI and the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), fielded several questions to Frantz and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Dr Paul Aiken, to help them better understand the LNG industry.

According to the release, the topics covered included the types of engineers needed to work in onshore and offshore operations, the process of cooling LNG, the role of New Fortress Energy's floating storage regasification unit in supplying natural gas across Jamaica and the region, as well as how the design of LNG vessels contribute to the safe transportation of LNG.

Responding to questions about job opportunities, Frantz urged the students to get involved in the country's transition to natural gas.

“I encourage you to be proactive, get involved by doing research and pulling together statistics, global trends and other information about LNG. The sector is still very new in Jamaica and in many parts of the world for that matter, which means there's a lot to learn and discover, so don't box yourselves in,” he is quoted as saying in the release.

Meanwhile, citing an example of LNG at work, Dr Aiken highlighted that the campus is now saving more than $56 million per month in the first phase of its co-generation partnership with New Fortress Energy, the release said.

In the partnership, the energy company said it is providing UWI with affordable and environmentally friendly LNG as well as leading the expansion of the university's cogeneration plant. The undertaking is expected to reduce costs for the campus by over $356 million annually at the end of phase two of the project, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent, the release continued.

New Fortress Energy said it has also committed to providing scholarships to top-performing science, technology, engineering and mathematics students at The UWI and other tertiary institutions in need of financial support.

According to the release, the company has, over the past two years, awarded scholarships to more than 50 tertiary-level students, including Sasha Lewis, from the UWI, and Zoran Watkis, from the University of Technology, Jamaica — both of whom are now employed with NFE as project engineers.


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