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North America

10.01.2011  |  Meche, Helen,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [NGL] [refinery] [natural gas] [LNG] [construction] [FEED] [engineering] [biofuels] [gasoline]

Dominion is proceeding with its next major project in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions, the construction of a large natural gas processing and fractionation plant along the Ohio River in Natrium, West Virginia.

The first phase of construction includes facilities that can process 200 million cfd of natural gas and fractionate 36,000 bpd of natural gas liquids (NGL). This phase of the project is more than 90% contracted and is expected to be in service by December 2012.

US Senator John Hoeven has announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a key permit for the proposed petroleum refinery on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation near Makoti, North Dakota. The Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA) Nation Clean Fuels Refinery is expected to be one of the few oil refineries to be constructed in the US in the last 30 years, and be capable of refining 15,000 bpd of oil.

During his tenure as governor, and now as a member of the US Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Senator Hoeven has worked to support the project and see that it achieved federal approval. In anticipation of the refinery’s approval, the Fort Berthold Community College created a two-year training program to educate students interested in energy-related careers, including refinery operation.

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. will construct a 150 million cfd cryogenic natural gas processing plant on its Anadarko gas-gathering system near Wheeler, Texas. The $230 million Ajax plant—strategically located to serve the rapidly growing Granite Wash play—will add much-needed natural gas processing capacity to the partnership’s Anadarko system and is expected to be in service by early 2013.

Black & Veatch has begun front-end engineering design (FEED) for a new, liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility that will be constructed on a barge and transported to the Douglas Channel near Kitimat Village, British Columbia, Canada. The unique facility will feature the company’s patented PRICO process to liquefy natural gas for transport to Asian markets.

The project is owned by HN DC LNG Ltd. Partnership (Haisla Nation), LNG Partners, LLC, and Douglas Channel Gas Services Ltd. It will reportedly be the first barge-mounted export facility serving the Pacific Basin, as well as the first for exporting Canadian natural gas

Black & Veatch’s FEED work for the facility, which will produce more than 800,000 tpy of LNG, will be completed in January 2012. The FEED will provide a definitive estimate in finalizing a lump-sum, turnkey contract between the parties for the facility’s engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning.

Golden Valley Electric Association and Flint Hills Resources Alaska have commenced engineering on a natural gas liquefaction (NGL) facility on Alaska’s North Slope. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to exclusively negotiate agreements to construct and operate a facility that would enable liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be trucked to the Interior by the first quarter of 2014.

GVEA would use the gas to power its newest turbine at the North Pole Power Plant. Flint Hills would use the gas as a supply fuel for the refining process at its North Pole refinery.

The deal would deliver gas “at cost” to each company. Lower costs mean lower rates to GVEA members. Flint Hills would reportedly become more competitive and efficient by burning LNG instead of refined crude oil in its refinery. Engineering for the project is underway. The objective is to have LNG available in the North Pole by the first quarter of 2014.

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Oberon Fuels have a joint research and development agreement to design and construct what is said to be the first commercial facility in the US to produce dimethyl ether (DME) from natural gas for use as a transportation fuel. The facility will be located in Southern California and produce the ultra-clean fuel, which can be used as an alternative to diesel and propane, as well as for various non-transportation uses.

The planned demonstration facility will use Oberon’s proprietary technology and process. This will mix natural gas with carbon dioxide, or CO2, to produce DME in small-scale, skid-mounted modular units that will produce 3,000 gpd to 6,000 gpd of DME.

Oberon is working with various policy leaders and state agencies to help ensure that DME becomes part of California’s clean alternative transportation fuel arsenal. The joint demonstration project is first targeting the “return-to-base” trucking segment. In return-to-base applications, the trucks go out in the morning, make their deliveries and then return to the same location for re-fueling and re-stocking.

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, has begun construction of a biofuels demonstration unit in Hawaii that will convert forest residuals, algae and other cellulosic biomass into green transportation fuels. Backed by a $25 million US Department of Energy (DOE) award, the Honeywell UOP integrated biorefinery will upgrade biomass into high-quality renewable gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. The project will also support the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative goal to achieve 70% clean energy by the year 2030.

Located at the Tesoro Corp. refinery in Kapolei, the biorefinery will demonstrate the technology’s viability, test the fuels produced and evaluate the environmental footprint of the fuels and process technology. The project is scheduled to begin initial production in 2012, and is expected to be fully operational by 2014.

The demonstration unit will utilize the rapid thermal processing (RTP) technology to rapidly convert biomass into a pourable, liquid biofuel. This liquid biofuel will then be upgraded to green transportation fuels, using hydroprocessing technology from Honeywell’s UOP.  HP

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