Helping Australia develop its unconventional gas reserves to meet the global demand for cleaner fuel options, GE’s Power & Water business is supplying an integrated solution of critical, on-site power generation and water filtration equipment to an energy consortium that is building a water treatment plant on behalf of Australian coal seam gas explorer and producer QGC. The project, located at QGC’s Kenya production site near Chinchilla in Queensland, Australia, integrates GE’s Waukesha and Jenbacher gas engines for the first time. The engines will generate reliable, on-site power for GE’s advanced membrane and thermal water treatment technologies that are being installed to desalinate water produced during the extraction of coal seam gas. The water treatment facility will have the capacity to treat up to 100 million liters per day so it can be used on farms, in industry and as town supply. GE is supplying its power and water technology solutions to GELOR, a consortium of GE Betz Pty Ltd. and Laing O’Rourke Construction Pty Ltd., which is building the water treatment plant on behalf of QGC.
QGC, a BG Group business, is developing the Queensland Curtis LNG Project, which involves expanding production of coal seam gas in the Surat Basin of southern Queensland; building a 540 km pipeline network linking the gas fields to Gladstone on the central coast of Queensland; and construction of an LNG plant on Curtis Island off Gladstone. Coal seam gas, also known as coal bed methane, is a form of natural gas trapped in coal by water and ground pressure. The gas is released after a well is drilled and the water is pumped out. Using coal seam gas to generate electricity instead of coal can reduce greenhouse emissions by up to 70 percent.
Queensland is Australia’s focal point of coal seam gas extraction, accounting for more than 90 percent of the country’s annual production as the industry looks to expand from being a regional distributed energy supplier into a significant, global source of LNG. In fact, coal seam gas production is expected to play a prominent role in the future energy plans of China, Russia, India, Indonesia and other countries. To ensure QGC has reliable on-site power for its water treatment at its Kenya facility, GE is supplying GELOR with its coal seam gas-fueled Waukesha and Jenbacher speciality gas engines including:
- Three of GE’s ecomagination-qualified Waukesha 12V 275GL+ mechanical drive engines, which are the most efficient, powerful, fuel flexible engines in their class and will power vapor compressors used to help treat brine water at the site. The 275GL+ gas engines capitalize on Waukesha’s 100-plus years of expertise and leverage GE’s service, scale and research capabilities.
- Seven of GE’s ecomagination-qualified, 3.3-megawatt (MW), J620 Jenbacher gas engines that will generate about 23.1 MW to support QGC’s Kenya water treatment plant, which will recycle wastewater created during the gas production process. The engines have been delivered to the site by Clarke Energy Ltd., GE’s exclusive gas engine distributor in Australia.
“As Australia’s growing coal seam gas industry works to become a global supplier of LNG, QGC’s Kenya project illustrates how GE Energy’s integrated portfolio offers customers a one-stop solution to meet their critical on-site power and water treatment technology needs and ensure that projects comply with various environmental regulations governing the coal seam gas industry,” said GE’s Rafael Santana, CEO and president—Gas Engines for GE Power & Water. “QGC’s Kenya project marks the first time that we are jointly deploying our Waukesha and Jenbacher gas engines for an on-site power project following GE’s acquisition of Dresser Inc., the former parent company of Waukesha Gas Engines.”
For the wastewater treatment facility, GE previously announced it will supply its advanced membrane and thermal water treatment technologies. The plant is expected to begin commercial operation in 2012.