Hydrogen to be used to decarbonise global LNG supply projects


GE Gas Power and Shell Global Solutions have announced the signing of a development agreement to pursue potential pathways aiming to reduce the carbon intensity of Shell’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply projects around the world, using hydrogen as a low-carbon fuel to drive gas turbines.

Firing natural gas in the power generation and mechanical drive gas turbines is the largest source of emissions in an LNG facility, therefore, one of the possible paths to decarbonise LNG production is to use hydrogen as a low carbon fuel in these engines. Shell plans to utilise its ‘Blue Hydrogen Process’ to generate the hydrogen, which it says can deliver the lowest carbon intensity fuel of its kind.

“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 this announcement is a model of this approach,” said John Intile, vice-president of engineering at GE Gas Power. “We look forward to working in cooperation with Shell to advance this crucial body of work. Together, we are 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 and gas segment, can accelerate the deployment of pragmatic and impactful solutions towards high-hydrogen capabilities in these gas turbines fleets, resulting in a significant reduction of carbon emissions and water utilisation globally.”

The deep decarbonisation of LNG export facilities presents both technical and economic challenges, which need to be addressed to realise 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 of gas processing and conversion technology at Shell. “We have continued to innovate and improve the value proposition of LNG using technology, and we look forward to collaborating with GE on this important initiative.”

GE’s B&E class heavy-duty gas turbines can already operate on 100 per cent 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 per cent hydrogen without the use of water while still maintaining NOx emissions.

The new DLN combustor technology is intended to become the backbone of new retrofittable system solutions for low-carbon operation of gas turbine while providing the reliability and availability required for LNG facilities. Dry operation also represents significant savings in water use and conservation: up 32,000 litres of water per hour could be saved using DLN systems versus comparable alternatives.

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