General Electric to supply gas turbine systems to LNG Canada project

GE Oil & Gas, a division of General Electric (NYSE: GE), has been picked by LNG Canada Development Inc. to supply GE’s high-efficiency LMS100-PB dry low emission (DLE) aeroderivative gas turbine as well as vertically and horizontally split centrifugal compressor technologies for a proposed gas liquefaction plant for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Kitimat, British Columbia.

The LMS100-PB is the largest aeroderivative gas turbine available with a free power turbine, ideally positioning it for large LNG applications, GE noted. With its aviation heritage and the introduction of intercooling technology, the LMS100 offers the highest simple-cycle efficiency of any industrial gas turbine. Rated at 105 MW and 45% efficiency at ISO conditions, the LMS100-PB provides clear advantages in total cost of ownership, GE added.

The aerodynamically coupled free power turbine provides speed, flexibility and high torque for typical LNG compressor loads especially during start sequencing with pressurized conditions in the refrigeration loop, avoiding the need for starter/helper motors.

“We are delighted that LNG Canada has selected our technology. The unparalleled efficiency of the LMS100 turbine combined with our compressors, which build on more than 30 years of experience in LNG applications, makes us confident that the proposed configuration represents the simplest and most integrated solution currently available to the industry,” said Rafael Santana, CEO & President-Turbomachinery Solutions for GE Oil & Gas, in a Dec. 3 statement. “Through its DLE technology, the LMS100-PB model will also provide best-in-class emissions for baseload operation. Selecting GE’s LMS100 technology helps LNG Canada support its environmental obligations to the Kitimat region.”

“The decision to power our facility with highly efficient natural gas turbines and compressors in combination with renewable electricity reflects our commitment to listen to and act on feedback from our stakeholders, when possible,” says Andy Calitz, CEO of LNG Canada Development.

LNG Canada has selected natural gas turbines for the liquefaction process to minimize fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. LNG Canada also recently signed a power agreement with BC Hydro to use renewable electricity from BC Hydro for a portion of the power needs of the facility.

From this point, LNG Canada must still ensure the project is economically viable and meet several other significant milestones related to gas supply, engineering and cost estimates, supply of labor and regulatory approval prior to making a final investment decision, GE pointed out.

LNG Canada is made up of Shell Canada Energy (50%), which is an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell plc, and affiliates of PetroChina (20%), Korea Gas Corp. (15%) and Mitsubishi Corp. (15%). The joint venture is proposing to build an LNG export facility in Kitimat that initially consists of two LNG processing units referred to as “trains,” with an option to expand the project in the future to four trains.

LNG Canada seeking provincial approval for this LNG project

LNG Canada filed Nov. 3 its application at the British Columbia Environmental Assessment for an environmental certificate on this project. At full build-out, the LNG facility will receive 4.2 billion standard cubic feet per day of natural gas and will produce approximately 26 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG for export. About 0.3 Bcf/day will be consumed for fuel at the LNG facility. The natural gas will be delivered via a new third-party-owned and operated pipeline.

The project will include a marine terminal able to accommodate two LNG carriers and a marine offloading area. Supporting infrastructure and facilities include power supply, water supply, waste collection and treatment, and temporary infrastructure and facilities.

It is anticipated that the project will be constructed in phases, with the first phase having a design capacity of approximately 13 mtpa of LNG and a further 13 mtpa of design capacity to be added insubsequent phase(s). Construction of the first phase is expected to be completed approximately five to six years following issuance of permits, with the subsequent phase(s) being developed as required by market demand. LNG Canada is proposing to spend between C$25bn and C$40bn on project construction.

Each natural gas liquefaction train will use natural gas-powered direct drive turbines to provide the mechanical power required for the main refrigeration compressors. In addition, the LNG facility and marine terminal will require electrical power to operate all other supporting facilities and infrastructure. Approximately 120 MW of electrical power will be required for Phase 1 (trains 1 and 2) and approximately 235 MW will be required at full build-out. This power will be sourced from the BC Hydro grid.

The company said it considered getting its power supply from on-site facilities only, from the BC Hydro grid only, or a “hybrid” of the two, which is the option that covers the turbines attached to the compressors and offsite power for the rest. “LNG Canada has engaged BC Hydro in feasibility discussions and negotiations regarding availability of power,” the Nov. 3 application noted. “The BC Hydro grid does not currently have sufficient capacity to provide the power required to produce LNG without being upgraded. However, BC Hydro is able to provide reliable access to sufficient power to operate the supporting facility and infrastructure without the natural gas liquefaction trains (i.e., the ‘hybrid’ option). LNG Canada has selected the ‘hybrid option’ for power generation as a means of reducing onsite GHG emissions, in consideration of the amount of power available from BC Hydro on the existing grid in the Kitimat area.”

A project contact is: Russell Morrison, LNG Canada–Senior Environmental Planner, Telephone: (403) 691-3047.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.