GE unveils LNG in a box system


Small-scale solutions such as the LNG In A Box system may encourage the transition of long-haul trucks from diesel fuel to LNG.

GE Oil & Gas introduced the LNG In A Box system, a small-scale, plug-and-play, re-deployable liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling solution based on proven technology that can help accelerate the use of natural gas as a cost-effective, cleaner transportation fuel. The world’s first commercial application of the LNG In A Box system will be for LNG fueling stations in Europe to be delivered by Luxembourg-based LNG firm Gasfin through its operating company AIR-LNG, GE announced at the 17th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG-17) in Houston.

Gasfin signed a memorandum of understanding with GE 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.

“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,” said Davor Grcevich, Gasfin managing director. “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.”

In comparison to GE’s Micro LNG plant announced last year, this new system offers customers a more standardized, modular fueling solution covering an LNG production range of 10,000 – 50,000 gallons a day (16-18 tons/day). It expands GE’s existing LNG portfolio and is the first available in a 10,000-gallons-a-day capacity that reduces demand-side adoption risk and requires a remarkably low CapEx and OpEx commitment.

GE brings technology, supply chain efficiency and the ability to industrialize at scale; 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. The modules also can be redeployed as needed, thus mitigating the risk of a fixed installation by eliminating stranded infrastructure costs.

Small-scale solutions such as the LNG In A Box system 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. This trend can be a major contributor to North American energy security and emissions reduction goals by potentially displacing approximately 1.7 million barrels a day of oil, one while reducing total “well to wheels” GHG emissions by 7 to 15 percent.

The small-scale solution also is economically suited for customers seeking a 10-50,000-gallons-a-day production capacity. Typical LNG tanks for heavy duty vehicles hold an average of 70-150 gallons (110-240 kg), so one 10,000-gallon-a-day (17 tons/day) system would be able to fuel up to 100 trucks per day.

“The trend toward natural gas fueling continues with our LNG In A Box plug-and-play system,” said Ujjwal Kumar, general manager, Turbomachinery Unconventional Solutions product line for GE Oil & Gas. “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.”

GE provides flexibility in LNG In A Box transaction structuring to meet our customers’ fueling infrastructure and vehicle needs, with access to large amounts of capital and services. 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.

Each LNG In A Box unit is fully equipped with a gas pre-treatment system, cold box assembly and boil off gas compressor as well as a GE’s turboexpander compressor, high-speed reciprocating compressor, electric motor, driver and control system. LNG In A Box units for Gasfin will be manufactured in the United States and will be shipped to Gasfin’s LNG fueling sites in Europe.

The new system is suitable for numerous industry sectors including highway transportation, marine, rail and remote industries such as mining and distributed power generation. It further expands GE’s solutions portfolio for unconventional resources, consisting of more than 40 technologies that are addressing fundamental industry challenges, helping customers and the industry improve operational performance, reduce their environmental footprint and increase resource recovery while creating innovative technologies to drive demand for natural gas.