GE Gas Power to Support Shell’s LNG Supply Projects

GE Gas Power to Support Shell’s LNG Supply Projects

/ Oil & Gas / Thursday, 10 November 2022 11:41

GE Gas Power and Shell Global Solutions, a pioneer in liquefied natural gas (LNG) for more than 50 years, have signed a deal to pursue potential pathways aiming to reduce the carbon intensity of Shell’s LNG supply projects around the world.

The move is significant since the global LNG demand is projected to almost double by 2040, and decarbonization is crucial in helping the company meet the world’s growing energy needs.

The largest source of emissions in an LNG facility stems from firing natural gas in the power generation process and mechanically driven gas turbines. Therefore, one of the possible paths to decarbonize LNG production is to use hydrogen as a low-carbon fuel in these engines. However, the source and nature of this fuel matters as well, and Shell’s Blue Hydrogen Process is a leading technology that can deliver the lowest carbon intensity fuel of its kind, with technologies and building blocks tested and commercially proven at a large scale, that have been used in various industries for many decades.

“Having worked on hydrogen combustion technologies for many years, we are conscious that progress in this area will be the result of careful, dedicated research and collaboration by industry leaders, and the announcement is a model of this approach,” said John Intile, vice president, engineering, at GE Gas Power. “We’re confident our combined strengths of Shell, GE and Baker Hughes, who is exclusive distributor of certain heavy-duty gas turbines and services in the oil & gas segment, can accelerate the deployment of pragmatic and impactful solutions towards high-hydrogen capabilities in these gas turbine fleets, resulting in a significant reduction of carbon emissions and water utilization globally,” he added.

The deep decarbonization of LNG export facilities presents both technical and economic challenges that need to be addressed to realize such ambition. “Becoming a net-zero emissions energy business means we need to explore a range of avenues that have the potential to help us, our partners and customers reduce emissions,” said Alexander Boekhorst, VP, gas processing and conversion technology at Shell.

GE's B&E class heavy-duty gas turbines can operate on 100% hydrogen, emitting up to 25ppm NOx with the use of water in diffusion combustors. As part of this development agreement, GE is targeting gas turbine technology with the capability to operate on 100% hydrogen without the use of water while still maintaining NOx emissions.

The new DLN combustor technology will act as the backbone of new retrofittable system solutions for low-carbon operation of gas turbines while providing the reliability and availability required for LNG facilities. Dry operation also represents significant savings in water use and conservation; roughly 32,000 liters of water per hour are saved using DLN systems versus comparable alternatives.

DLN combustors are more efficient and do not use water as a diluent, thus offering LNG operators the ability to lower carbon and conserve water in their operations. In the future, the developments to the DLN combustion technology could be installed on either new or existing 6B or 7E gas turbines. This would help reduce carbon emissions in industrial applications and LNG operations, particularly where water supplies are scarce.

The all-climate B and E Class heavy-duty gas turbines provide essential power and perform in varied duty cycles and applications in extreme climate conditions. These turbines can use more than 50 types of fuel — almost the entire fuel spectrum, including hydrogen — and can even switch fuels while running under full load.

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