[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Shell to build LNG units in Gulf Coast and Great Lakes regions; two additional LNG for transport corridors in North America
March 05, 2013
Shell and its affiliates will build two additional small-scale natural gas liquefaction units to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel for marine and heavy-duty on-road customers in North America. Pending final regulatory permitting, these two new liquefaction units are expected to begin operations and production in about three years.
These two units will form the basis of two new LNG transport corridors in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions. This decision follows an investment decision in 2011 on a similar corridor in Alberta, Canada. (Earlier post.) Shell is also working to use natural gas as a fuel in its own operations.
Westport introduces advanced LNG tank system for natural gas trucks; unsaturated LNG for large SI engines
November 26, 2012
Westport Innovations Inc. is introducing a new on-board liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage solution that supports the use of cold (unsaturated) LNG fuel for large SI-engine vehicles that would have earlier required warm (saturated) LNG. By carrying fuel as cold LNG, the Westport LNG Tank System can increase fuel storage times and improve vehicle range by up to 10%.
There are two standards for dispensing LNG: saturated (“green” or “warm”) LNG (8 bar and ‐130 °C) or unsaturated (“blue” or “cold”) LNG (3 bar and ‐150 °C). Each type of LNG fuel is optimized for a different engine technology; saturated LNG, with its warmer temperature, creates a vapor pressure in the tank that helps deliver fuel to the engine.
GE and Clean Energy Fuels Partner to expand LNG refueling infrastructure in US for trucks; new MicroLNG plants
November 13, 2012
|GE’s MicroLNG plant can liquefy natural gas at any point along a gas distribution network. Click to enlarge.|
GE and Clean Energy Fuels are collaborating to expand the infrastructure for natural gas transportation in the United States. The agreement supports Clean Energy’s efforts in developing “America’s Natural Gas Highway,” (earlier post)—a fueling network spanning the contiguous US that will enable trucks to operate on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) coast to coast and border to border.
As part of the collaboration, Clean Energy Fuels will initially purchase two MicroLNG plants from GE Oil & Gas. (Earlier post.) The plug-and-play modular units, which are designed to rapidly liquefy natural gas while minimizing a site’s physical footprint, will support fueling stations along major transportation corridors that run across the US. Further underscoring GE’s commitment to expanding natural gas transportation infrastructure, GE Energy Financial Services is providing up to $200 million in financing for the two GE MicroLNG plants.
Dresser-Rand licenses Expansion Energy VX Cycle technology for small-scale production of LNG
October 26, 2012
|VX Cycle block diagram. Source: Expansion Energy. Click to enlarge.|
Dresser-Rand—among the largest suppliers of rotating equipment solutions to the worldwide oil, gas, petrochemical, and process industries—has entered into a definitive agreement with Expansion Energy LLC under which Dresser-Rand is granted a worldwide exclusive (for capacities up to 100,000 gallons per day) license to Expansion Energy’s proprietary VX Cycle technology for the small-scale production of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Dresser-Rand believes that the patented VX Cycle is the first technology to provide a cost-effective small-scale LNG production process with capacities as low as 1,500 gallons per day—smaller than any other LNG production system commercially available today. The VX Cycle yields approximately 85% LNG from every unit of natural gas that enters the plant, with 15% of the gas used as fuel for the prime mover that converts the NG to LNG, according to Expansion Energy. (A 90/10 ratio of product to fuel is possible with certain optimizations.)
Alaska Pipeline Project partners progressing on massive LNG export project; total cost between $45 to 65+ billion
October 05, 2012
|Concept of the Alaska Southcentral LNG Project. Click to enlarge.|
The partners in the Alaska Pipeline Project (APP)—ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, BP, and TransCanada—submitted a letter to Alaska Governor Sean Parnell describing their companies’ progress in advancing an Alaska liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project. (Earlier post.)
Given the massive size of the Alaska North Slope conventional gas resource (35 trillion cubic feet of reserves and more than 200 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable resources) and the scope of the project as described by the companies, an Alaska LNG project will be one of the largest in the world. Describing it as “a megaproject of unprecedented scale and challenge”, the partners envision the LNG project entailing up to 1.7 million tons of steel, a peak construction workforce of up to 15,000, a permanent workforce of more than 1,000 in Alaska, and an estimated total cost in today’s dollars of $45 to $65+ billion.
California Energy Commission awards more than $23M to encourage use of alternative transportation fuels
June 14, 2012
The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved funding of $23,110,015 for projects that will advance the development of green fuels, and the installation of fueling stations. The awards are provided through the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, created by Assembly Bill 118.
The program provides approximately $100 million annually to encourage the development and use of alternative and renewable fuels and new vehicle technologies. By leveraging outside funding, many of these projects also attract additional investment in clean energy technology. The award recipients are:
New fuel-efficient bulk carrier concept design; DNV estimates new tankers, bulkers and container vessels will be up to 30% more energy efficient by 2020 than newbuilds today
June 05, 2012
|The Green Dolphin. Click to enlarge.|
The Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) and development partners DNV and Wärtsilä have unveiled a new Handysize—i.e., ships with a cargo-carrying capability of less than 60,000 metric tonnes—bulk carrier concept design: the Green Dolphin. The Green Dolphin leverages existing technologies to meet shipowners’ needs for fuel efficiency and operational flexibility while also being ready for future environmental regulations.
Separately, DNV is predicting that by 2020, new tankers, bulkers and container vessels will be up to 30% more energy efficient than today’s newbuildings. DNV predicts that one-third of the reductions will be cost-effective for shipowners. The Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) will be the driver for the remaining two-thirds of the efficiency gains.
Volvo launching 13-liter heavy-duty LNG engine with Westport HPDI injection in 2014; CNG and DME potential
May 18, 2012
Volvo Trucks plans to launch a 13-liter heavy-duty liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine featuring Westport high pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology for the North American market in 2014. (Earlier post.)
The engine’s advanced high pressure diesel ignition technology will provide significant fuel efficiency gains compared with current natural gas products, according to Volvo. Combined with its previously announced offering of compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Volvo VNM and VNL model daycabs, the new engine will provide customers with a range of natural gas-powered transportation solutions for different applications. Volvo is also testing another promising fuel that can be produced from natural gas, DME (dimethyl ether).
Way cleared for major Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline project
March 31, 2012
|Proposed route for the Alaska Pipeline project. Click to enlarge.|
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell announced that two major milestones have been met in the state’s effort to bring Alaska’s North Slope natural gas to Alaskans and markets beyond. The North Slope holds more than 35 trillion cubic feet of discovered natural gas.
First, the State of Alaska resolved its long-running litigation with ExxonMobil and other leaseholders regarding the Point Thomson field, which holds almost a quarter of the North Slope’s known natural gas. Second, the three major producers—ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP—delivered a letter to the governor announcing that they are now aligned with the Alaska Pipeline Project (APP) parties, and working on a gasline project focusing on bringing North Slope gas to tidewater in Alaska.