GE Oil & Gas Technology Boosts European Gas Storage Expansion
01 February 2011
As part of its program to meet growing European natural gas demand, Storengy, the GDF SUEZ Group company dedicated to the underground storage of natural gas, has again selected GE Oil & Gas' advanced Integrated Compressor Line (ICL) technology to underpin the efficient expansion of key projects in France and the United Kingdom.
GE Oil & Gas will supply Storengy with four ICL units: two 5-megawatt units for the expansion of the Beynes natural gas storage project near Paris, France, which have a total storage capacity of up to 385 million cubic meters of natural gas; and two units (5 and 8-MW) for the development of the Stublach natural gas storage project in Cheshire, United Kingdom. Stublach will comprise up to 28 caverns, the first 10 of which will be commissioned in 2013, with a total storage capacity of up to 400 million cubic meters of natural gas.
Jean-Marc Guyot, chief operating officer, Storengy said, “We have been pleased with the performance, efficiency, environmental impact and cost-saving benefits delivered by GE Oil & Gas' ICL technology to our previous projects and look forward to similar results at our Beynes and Stublach facilities. The emissions and noise reduction capabilities of ICL technology provide a superb fit with the requirements of our projects.”
Joe Mastrangelo, vice president—turbomachinery for GE Oil & Gas, said, “GE Oil & Gas ICL technology continues to be selected by customers across Europe as a cost-effective and environmentally responsible solution underpinning gas compression projects. The ICL reflects GE's commitment to reliable innovation and advanced technology solutions that tackle our customers' toughest challenges.”
The awards follow initial contracts to supply four GE ICL units to Storengy for the expansion of the Céré La Ronde (near Tours) and Saint Illiers (near Paris) storage facilities, and brings to 20 the total number of ICL units that GE has supplied to customers across Europe since ICL technology was introduced in 2007, including for projects in Germany, Austria, France and the United Kingdom.
ICL is an integrated system with a single casing for the compressor and the motor. Its technology saves energy and avoids at least 60 percent of associated CO2 emissions.
Designed to meet growing operational and environmental challenges faced by compression plant operators, GE's ICL technology features an integrated system that combines three proven technologies: centrifugal compression, active magnetic bearings and high-speed electric motors.
In addition, they do not require a gear-box, lube oil system, shaft seals or external cooling system, which enables higher reliability and lower maintenance time around 40 percent lower than that of a conventional system.
Using an average 8-megawatt (MW) ICL rather than a comparable-sized gas turbine-driven compressor can reduce CO2 emissions by 60 percent or more. Since the use of oil for the lubrication of bearings or other parts is not required, 30,000 liters of oil is saved over the lifetime of an ICL compressor. The ICL's electrical motor is also much quieter than a conventional compressor and gas turbine drive.
ICL, which is ideal for storage, fuel gas and export gas operations, and transportation pipelines, is available in a power range of up to 15 MW and is capable of delivering high pressure ratios and operating over a broad range of conditions.
GE's ICL technology has received qualification as a GE ecomagination product. GE's ecomagination Product Review (EPR) process provides a third-party verification of claims, quantifying operating and environmental performance benefits that accrue to GE's customers by using ecomagination products relative to baselines such as competitors' best products, the installed base of products and regulatory standards.GE's ICL technology has also received the AFTP award last October in Paris (AFTP is the French Association of Oil Industry Engineers and Technicians): this is a great reward for the ICL, which is a major innovation in compression.