Biofuels Power Corp. (BFLS) has signed a letter of intent
with ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions and Liberty GTL to
build a small-scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) demonstration
facility in Houston, officials announced on Tuesday.
The parties have established a non-binding target date to
complete installation and commissioning of the GTL plant on
or before December 31, 2014. The purpose of the pilot
plant is to commercially demonstrate converting stranded
natural gas resources to synthetic crude oil.
BFLS will operate the pilot plantfor the 2-year
demonstration. ThyssenKrupp will provide technical services
and contribute a previously operating auto-thermal reformer
pilot plant of proven design (ATR), which will be used to
generate synthesis gas feedstock
for the production of
synthetic crude oil.
Meanwhile, Liberty will provide intellectual property and
operating know-how regarding crude oil synthesis along with
the relevant catalyst supply. The Liberty technical team is
also credited for designing the FT (Fischer Tropsch) reactor,
which will convert the synthetic gas to synthetic crude
Liberty has been through several years of extensive
research and engineering studies and considers its IP,
know-how and strategic relationships to be the key to unlock
the considerable value in monetizing the abundant gas
resources in North America," said Wayne Stocks,
president of Liberty. "This plant will be a first for the US
and an important step to the future of clean
s for the nation."
The GTL pilot plant will be assembled at the Houston Clean
Energy Park, which is an industrial estate owned by BFLS.
The focus of the plant will be to optimize design and
operability of small-scale GTL facilities
capable of converting 5
- 10 Mcf/day of natural gas into approximately 500 bpd of
synthetic crude oil.
Building on Libertys previous engineering studies
completed by ThyssenKrupp in 2013, BFLS and Liberty are in
the process of completing engineering on a 500 bpd reference
plant design with the goal of deploying multiple units in
North America in the future. This process is scheduled to be
completed in the coming weeks.
BFLS says it believes that gas to liquids project
s of this size may be
attractive to operating companies confronted with curtailing
production or, in the extreme case, ceasing production due to
capital cost barriers related to expansion
of natural gas
gathering, processing and transmission infrastructure. These
stranded gas wells would be released for
production if the planned GTL units could process the natural
gas immediately after completion of the well.
This GTL pilot project
is an important milestone
toward our goal of installing small scale GTL plants at
stranded gas well sites," said chief commercial officer Eric
Gadd. "The pilot plant will prove the commercial viability of
deploying small-scale GTL plants in North America. With an
abundant natural gas resource base, future gas-to-liquids
developments like this could fill a need in the energy
industry for decades to come.