LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is predominantly propane and butanes, either segregated or in various ratios and mixtures of each product. LPG is a by-product of the refinery process, transported mainly in pressurised vessels. LPG is also a by-product of crude oil production (Associated Gas) and a by-product of natural gas production (Non Associated Gas).
Associated and Non Associated LPG or NGL’s (Natural Gas Liquids) are shipped via pipeline in large quantities where possible, for example in the US, and via refrigerated VLGC’s (Very Large Gas Carriers) from, for example, the US Gulf Coast to Japan. As well as being a fundamental building block in the petrochemical process, LPG it also a convenient fuel used globally for domestic purposes; in the northern hemisphere, LPG is used for home heating, while in Africa it is used as a cooking gas. In some markets, LPG is also used as a fuel for cars (known as Autogas).
TRINITY commenced trading LPG in 2014. The backbone of the business was servicing the European refining industry with our fleet of pressurised vessels. This business continues today, with our fleet of 26 modern pressurised vessels working in markets such as the Black Sea and Brazil. Vitol operates both as a ship owner, re-letting our quality tonnage to various state owned oil companies and international oil majors, but also retains a portion of the fleet for our own transportation requirements.
We are also actively involved in building infrastructure in developing markets. In the US Virgin Islands, we are in the process of converting a power station from diesel to propane. WAPA (the local water and power authority) estimates this will save 30 per cent on the cost of power while providing a clean solution in an environmentally sensitive area.
In 2014 to 2015, TRINITY commissioned its Navgas LPG terminal in Lagos, Nigeria. We partnered with a local company, NIDOGAS, to build two 4,000 tonne pressurised spheres with our own jetty, enabling us to keep the local market supplied at all times. Modern and equipped with safety features built to European standards, we are in this market for the long term.
Trinity’s LPG teams are located in Houston, London, Singapore and Geneva, providing us with global coverage on a daily basis.