In Europe, liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been an increasingly important source of sustainable energy since the 1960s. Home to an extensive network of pipelines and state-of-the-art gas production and storage facilities, the Netherlands is becoming an important hub in the European gas trade and distribution industry.
Gate Terminal is the first LNG import terminal in the Netherlands. Located on a newly reclaimed 35-hectare site south of Maasvlakte on Rotterdam’s North Sea coast, the terminal consists of three storage tanks, two jetties and a process area. A 6- by 6-meter spill basin at the site must function faultlessly as a temporary holding tank in case of emergency, accident or disaster. It sounds simple, but liquefied natural gas must be held at temperatures as low as –165º Celsius. And that means the basin must be built of cryogenic concrete reinforced with rebar manufactured especially for very low cryogenic temperatures.
How low can it go?
For the rebar, project engineers selected Outokumpu Core 304LN/4311. As with all austenitic stainless steels, Core 304LN/4311 maintains its ductility at very cold temperatures, which means it will not fracture. That’s essential on a project like this.
To prevent leakage, the basin’s floor and walls must remain intact as cracks compromise the basin’s integrity and the rebar reinforcing the concrete. Core retains its mechanical properties at temperatures as low as –196º Celsius. For the Gate Terminal project, Outokumpu’s integrated production facility in Sheffield, England, produced 10 tonnes of rebar in several thicknesses and customized lengths and shapes.
Designed for long life
Core 304LN/4311 is corrosion-resistant, making it well suited to use in a maritime environment where chloride-induced corrosion is a threat. Because it increases the structure’s lifetime, the alloy also plays a role in reducing long-term costs and minimizing maintenance needs. Stainless steel rebar contributes to the reliability, efficiency and safe operation of a facility such as the Gate Terminal.