GE Oil & Gas announced the development of a Micro LNG integrated plant that meets the small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) requirements of powering remote industrial and residential locations and fueling motor vehicles. The product introduction was among the opening day highlights of the 2012 GE Oil & Gas Annual Meeting in Florence.
GE’s Micro LNG plant produces in the range of 20 to 150 k/tons per year of LNG. The biggest difference between traditional large plants, which produce in excess of 1 million tons per year, and Micro LNG is the targeted end user, GE said. For the large LNG plant, the product is produced for international export, where plant economy of scale is among the most important factors. In Micro LNG, the distributed production is primarily aimed at local markets, where it is re-gasified and fed as pipeline natural gas or used for local power generation.
GE’s Micro LNG plants are simple to install, operate and maintain and are customized to meet specific customer and site requirements.
Typically, the equipment GE will supply directly for the Micro LNG plants will include centrifugal and integrally gear compressors and companders (combination of expander and compressor), turboexpander compressors, reciprocating compressors and controllers, providing real-time connectivity and integration to greatly simplify production processes.
In addition to the process design, turbomachinery equipment and control, the Micro LNG system includes one of the first applications of the Waukesha gas engines for mechanical drive and power generation that became part of GE’s broad portfolio following the $3 billion Dresser, Inc., acquisition in 2011.
GE’s Micro LNG technology supports a growing global demand for LNG. Besides being a more environment-friendly alternative to diesel in heavy duty vehicle freight transportation and extra heavy duty off-road vehicles, LNG also is a suitable substitute for diesel or fuel oil for powering remote locations and can be used to capture methane fugitive emissions typically related to mining or upstream oil operations eligible for World Bank financing and emissions allowances. The GE system is a cost-effective solution to manage gas peak demand and more in general for gas transportation and storage.
Using LNG as a substitute for diesel or fuel oil can reduce combustion emissions up to 25%. GE’s Micro LNG system is part of a growing portfolio of products that have been qualified under GE ecomagination.