One of the pretreatment processes applied to natural gas before it enters the liquefaction facility (LQF) involves a sister facility, the storage and trucking facility (STF)
located in Oyster Creek about a mile away from the pretreatment facility (PTF). The PTF is designed to remove mercury, CO2, H2S, water and heavier hydrocarbons that would be detrimental to liquefaction equipment. In PTF's natural gas liquids (NGL) recovery unit, hydrocarbon components that would freeze in LQF's cryogenic equipment (benzene, toluene, xylenes, pentanes and all heavier hydrocarbons) are stripped from the gas and sent to the STF via an 8-inch pipeline.
These stripped hydrocarbons, also called condensates or C5+, arrive at STF and are stored in a series of five bullet-shaped tanks inside a restricted process area. Within these tanks, the condensate is stored at ambient temperature and under a nitrogen blanket. Also near the process area is a flare, thermal oxidizer, loading pumps, air compressor and emergency generator.
Another major structure at the STF site is the product-loading area. Customers purchase condensate for a variety of process uses, and they can ship it from the STF by tank truck. Trucks drive inside the covered loading area and the condensate is pumped into the trucks' tanks via loading arms. A nearby control room coordinates the loading process between the STF operators and the truck drivers.
The building of STF followed a series of detailed and careful steps. First, six potential building contractors had been reviewed before a final EPC contractor for engineering, procurement and construction was selected. Though not under FERC jurisdiction, the STF project did have to go through air and DOT permitting. There were challenges in air permitting that required the engineers to change the initial flair design. Also, because the site is in a very condensed and traffic-congested industrial area, the contractor had to accommodate STF neighbors' needs and requirements.
"But the good thing is that we have a great team and great minds that were able to tackle every challenge with very creative solutions. The STF facility has five storage tanks that can hold up to 10,000 barrels of condensate, and we can load simultaneously up to five trucks. It is a very impressive facility!"