Says Modular Approach Will Reduce Adoption Cost & Risk
As Gasfin Chooses Technology for Fueling Stations in Europe
GE Oil & Gas is promoting its new LNG In A Box as “a small-scale, plug-and-play, re-deployable liquefied natural gas fueling solution based on proven technology that can help accelerate the use of natural gas as a cost-effective, cleaner transportation fuel.”
The first commercial application, GE says, will be for LNG fueling stations in Europe to be delivered by Europe’s Gasfin through Gasfin’s new Air-LNG subsidiary.
“The trend toward natural gas fueling continues with our LNG In A Box plug-and-play system,” Ujjwal Kumar, general manager of the turbomachinery unconventional solutions product line for GE Oil & Gas, says in a release. “This industrial-scaled technology can help accelerate the build-out of natural gas fueling infrastructure and can enable the conversion of diesel-powered vehicles to more cost-effective, cleaner natural gas.”
10,000 to 50,000 Gallons Per Day
Modular LNG In A Box fueling installations will be able to turn out 10,000 to 50,000 LNG gallons daily. The product complements GE’s MicroLNG plants, which are designed for up to 250,000 gallons per day. GE also offers modular CNG In A Box units for compressed natural gas fueling.
Each LNG In A Box unit is equipped with a gas pre-treatment system, cold box assembly and boil off gas compressor as well as a GE turboexpander compressor, high-speed reciprocating compressor, electric motor, driver, and control system.
“This market badly needs some scale and you cannot bring in scale with the traditional, project-based approach,” Kumar says.
“The solutions out there right now are site-by-site custom-designed,” he told F&F. “GE is trying to move this whole market to a more modular-based product … which drastically brings down the adoption costs and risks involved.” Both capital expenditures and operating costs are reduced with a modular approach.
‘A Competitive Alternative to LNG Terminal Supply’
GE reports an MoU with Luxembourg-based Gasfin to install five LNG In A Box units serving “clusters” of LNG fueling stations. “The first unit will be installed near the border of Italy and Slovenia, with the potential for an additional 25 units for expansion into Europe and the CIS countries,” GE says.
“We are building a leadership position in the conversion of diesel, gasoline and LPG fuels to LNG in Europe, developing a competitive alternative to LNG terminal supply with portable, small-scale LNG fueling solutions for long-haul trucking and small remote energy centers,” Gasfin managing director Davor Grcevich says in a GE release.
“As a quickly deployable, modular solution for LNG fueling, GE’s new technology offers a good match for our innovative LNG ‘fueling cluster’ concept that can reduce highway congestion, help ensure gas quality and open new opportunities for natural gas throughout Europe,” Grcevich said.
LNG In A Box units for Gasfin will be manufactured in the U.S. and shipped to Gasfin’s LNG fueling sites in Europe.
Marine, Rail, Mining, E&P Eyed Too
In addition to what Kumar calls “the core philosophy” of “repeatability and scale,” GE cites its technology, supply chain efficiency and ability to industrialize, “enabling an owner/operator to rapidly deploy an LNG fueling solution at a site in just two months.
“The plug-and-play solution minimizes engineering effort and civil requirements and lowers initial cost, scheduling, technical, permitting and financing risks with its factory-tested components and GE warranties,” GE says.
“The modules also can be redeployed as needed, thus mitigating the risk of a fixed installation by eliminating stranded infrastructure costs.”
Products like LNG In A Box, GE says, may encourage the transition of long-haul trucks from diesel fuel to LNG. “In the case of North America, fuel savings may yield a three-year payback based on current fuel prices.”
Last But Not Least, GE Can Finance
GE has the money to help make it happen too, promising “flexibility in LNG In A Box transaction structuring.”
“Through GE Capital, customers can take advantage of equipment financing products that can help mitigate up-front expense challenges. GE Capital Fleet Services also can provide financial and vehicle management programs to support both conventional and alternative-fueled vehicle fleets.”
Beyond natural gas trucking, LNG In A Box is available to support marine, rail, mining and distributed power markets, such as energy E&P (exploration and production). GE manufactures natural gas-fueled engines for those markets, too.
GE notes that its customer Gasfin is a shareholder in Germany’s TGE Gas Engineering (www.tge-gas.com) and TGE Marine (www.tge-marine.com), and that Gasfin has formed two Air-LNG units, in Luxembourg and Bonn, “to develop LNG solutions for aviation, ship, road and rail applications.”
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Source: GE Oil & Gas with Fleets & Fuels follow-up