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World’s largest SNG plant

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Haldor Topsøe A/S has announced that Qinghua, the largest SNG plant ever to be built in the world has successfully come online. The plant is in the city of Yining, Xingiant region in northwestern China. Topsøe designed the methanation section of the plant, which is owned and operated by Qinghua Group of China. This is the largest single train SNG plant in the world and warranted investment of US$ 4.1 billion. The plant has a planned output of 1.4 billion m3/y based on coal gasification.

The technology

The plant uses Haldor Topsøe catalysts and process technology, namely the TREMP™ methanation technology which enables highly cost effective production of SNG from syn gas derived from coal. In the methanation process carbon oxides react with hydrogen to form methane, and the methane rich gas is sold as SNG.

SNG based on coal gasification is used as a replacement for natural gas that can be used onsite, fed into a natural gas pipeline or liquefied into LNG. The majority of the SNG produced at the plant will be fed to a pipeline infrastructure and transported to more densely populated areas of China.

China and SNG

‘Due to the uneven balance between supply and demand of natural gas in China coupled with rising price of oil, coal based SNG constitutes an attractive alternative to secure energy and address energy and environmental issues, especially in areas such as West China where lignite or coal reserves are abundant,’ said Per Bakkerud, MD in Haldor Topsøe China.

The Qinghua plant is one of a number of SNG projects that have been approved by the National Development and Reform Commission. They were approved in 2010 and reflect the importance attached by the Chinese government to efficient utilisation of the country’s large reserves of natural resources.

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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