As global LNG demand continues to grow into the foreseeable future, supplying ‘green LNG’ could give producers an edge in this burgeoning market. French oil and gas giant Total and Siemens Gas and Power division are conducting studies that could greatly benefit each company.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions at LNG liquefaction facilities, and improving plant reliability, maintainability, regulatory compliance and development costs, are targets for the study. Decarbonizing LNG production can feed into more demand for the fuel with stringent government regulations and corporate mandates kicking in. Being considered the cleanest fossil fuel, the European Commission sees it as an excellent alternative energy to reduce emissions and combat climate change.
As we’re seeing with green hydrogen, several countries have started committing billions of dollars in a bid to combat climate change. The US has been particularly fond of LNG to meet these targets — and as the domestic gas supply is ample enough to grow exports.
McKinsey & Co. forecasts that the global gas and LNG market will continue to expand 3.6 percent each year through 2035.
Total has been expanding its energy portfolio in recent years, with LNG being prioritized. Last month, Total was able to round up $15 billion for an LNG-project in Mozambique for a signing scheduled in June. It will be expanding to $23 billion and make up Africa’s largest private investment yet, binding in about 20 banks. The project will chill natural gas into a liquid for export.
Siemens sees great potential in LNG, having taken on another major alliance. The company found equity investment partners for a new combined cycle power plant for the integrated LNG-to-Power project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Siemens owns one-third of project company Gás Natural Açu (GNA) with Brazil logistics company Prumo Logística S.A. and oil major BP.
Siemens will benefit from the new study’s exploration of gas turbine compression trains in rolling systems. Its Houston-based Gas and Power unit produces products for power generation, such as gas and steam turbines, generators, turbine packages, and tailored OEM power plant solutions.
The new study will look into using gas turbine- and electric-driven compression trains in conjunction with proven single-mixed refrigerant and double-mixed refrigerant technologies for the coolant function in drivetrain and power systems. Another method being explored is developing techniques to improve the efficiency of onsite power generation facilities; that might include heat recovery systems, inlet air chilling, supplementary firing, renewables integration, and battery storage. Related: The End Of The OPEC Deal Could Be The Start Of A New Oil Price War
“Siemens Gas and Power is committed to supporting the LNG industry’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions through the application of proven equipment solutions and by providing financial, technical development, and strategic support to customers in the early concept development and pre-front-end engineering design (FEED) stages of projects,” said Thorbjoern Fors, CEO for Siemens Energy Oil & Gas Division. “We are proud to continue these efforts by partnering with Total to drive towards the lowest possible plant emissions profile and attain the highest degree of sustainability in LNG production.”
As part of the agreement, Siemens in conducting studies to explore possible liquefaction and power generation in plant designs. The endgame here will be hitting targets for decarbonizing LNG production. But other efficiencies are part of the overall goals, according to the two companies. That will include leveraging digitalization and automation platforms to optimize plant design and achieve seamless project execution.
Siemens thinks that application of digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, digital twins, and predictive analytics, offer substantial gains for LNG developers and operators to improve the economic viability of their facilities. Participating in the Hammerfest LNG plant above the Arctic Circle, Siemens has been able to divert unplanned downtime in the plant. Siemens developed an advanced digital system that monitors and rapidly responds to the entire system to keep it operating efficiently.
By Jon LeSage for Oilprice.com
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