Venice is famous for its fine glass, examples of which have survived for nearly a thousand years. Pittsburgh Corning also has a long history of expertise in manufacturing high-quality glass for its FOAMGLAS® cellular glass insulation.

FOAMGLAS cellular glass insulation has been brought to the Gulf of Venice to provide both long-lasting insulation performance and safety for the Adriatic LNG liquefied natural gas offshore terminal.

Adriatic LNG terminal

The terminal is located 15km offshore near Rovigo, Italy, at the southern end of the Gulf of Venice, in the northern Adriatic.

The Adriatic LNG Terminal is the world’s first offshore gravity-based structure (GBS) for unloading, storing and re-gasifying liquefied natural gas (LNG). With its eight billion cubic metre capacity, approximately equal to 10% of the country’s entire gas consumption, the Adriatic LNG Terminal will make a significant contribution to increasing and diversifying Italy’s traditional sources of energy imports, thus contributing to the security and competitiveness of Italy’s energy supplies.

The terminal facility was insulated in Algeciras, Spain. Construction of the tanks started in October 2003 and finished in August 2008. Overall, the offshore terminal is designed around a large concrete structure, which houses two LNG tanks, and includes a re-gasification plant and facilities for mooring and unloading LNG vessels.

FOAMGLAS cellular glass insulation supports 250,000m³ LNG tanks

The heart of the terminal consists of two enormous tanks, each holding 250,000m³ of liquefied gas and sitting on a base of 0.3m thick FOAMGLAS HLB insulation. When completed the tanks were floated to Italy and sunk onto the seabed at the terminal location.

A 30in diameter pipeline transports gas from the terminal 15km offshore, then through another 25km onshore, to the metering station near Cavarzere in the province of Venice.

Safety as top priority

The Adriatic LNG project has been developed with safety and longevity as priorities. That’s why FOAMGLAS cellular glass insulation came in the picture. FOAMGLAS gives outstanding fire protection for pipework and vessels, even without the application of traditional fire protection products. In case of a hydrocarbon fire not only is there protection for the pipework and equipment but for the personnel too who are protected since FOAMGLAS will not produce dangerous smoke.

Pipework and vessels insulated with FOAMGLAS cellular glass insulation

All LNG Process pipe work up to 42in diameter plus condenser / vessels and pumps were insulated with FOAMGLAS insulation in two or three layers (in accordance with the ExxonMobil specification). All FOAMGLAS elements, consisting of straight pipe shells, segments, and flange insulation, were delivered prefabricated to save time on-site. The outer layer joints were sealed with PITTSEAL® 444 mastic and then a butyl foil vapour barrier was applied, before an outer jacket of fibreglass or stainless steel.

With the help of Pittsburgh Corning, Adriatic LNG will be able to distribute energy to Italy, and assure their high safety standards. The FOAMGLAS insulation system promises long-lasting safety and insulating performance.