GE Oil and Gas has been chosen to provide both technology and capital to help expedite construction of the Freeport LNG gas liquefaction and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project in Southeast Texas.

GE is supplying the main refrigeration compressors, variable-speed drive electric motors and other electrical equipment for two customised LNG liquefaction trains, each of which will produce a base volume of 4.4 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG. In addition, GE is providing financing to support the project through pre-construction engineering and design.

In a transformation of its energy fortunes, the shale gas boom gives the United States the potential to become one of the globe’s largest LNG exporters. Freeport LNG will play a vital role in maximising the value of this abundant and affordable shale gas, becoming the first world-scale electric liquefied natural gas (eLNG) plant in North America. Using GE’s electric motor driven technology has enabled Freeport LNG to comply with strict local emissions standards and support its ambitious LNG production and export targets.

“GE’s strong partnership and expertise have helped us address this project’s unique challenges, quickly,” said Michael Smith, CEO of Freeport LNG. “Through its innovative technology, financial expertise and ability to address environmental challenges in a cost-effective manner, GE is helping us to create the lowest air emissions and carbon footprint in the US LNG industry.”

GE will supply two liquefaction trains with an integrated solution consisting of:

·      Six centrifugal compressors.

·      Six 75-megawatt (MW) synchronous electric motors including the largest electric motor ever supplied for an LNG facility.

·      Six variable speed drives (LCI technology).

·      Electrical equipment such as gas insulated switchgear, MCC, harmonic filters, e-houses and auxiliary electrical equipment.

·      Integrated LNG plant and power grid modelling coordinated protection and control development, power quality evaluation and power system design verification studies.

The Freeport eLNG project is unique in electric power systems design and implementation. The plant will feature all-electric drive compression directly connected at the utility incoming transmission voltage level. The power systems engineering study and design for Freeport uses the deep power systems expertise of GE’s Energy Consulting team.

GE has invested heavily in its capabilities for high-powered and more complex mechanical-electrical systems, now delivered in the eLNG sector. GE can provide the option for LNG projects to use existing electric power or to build their own combined-cycle power plants that can power electric motor-driven refrigeration systems.

With its extensive investing experience in LNG and midstream, GE Energy Financial Services was able to bring the expertise required to provide a unique financing solution for Freeport LNG. GE Energy Financial Services underwrote a loan and subsequently secured three additional lenders, allowing the project to expedite equipment orders and permit approval.

“Our strong LNG expertise, manufacturing capabilities and our ability to perform full load string tests, as well as our exacting safety standards, set us apart with this major project,” said Rafael Santana, CEO and President, Turbomachinery Solutions, GE Oil & Gas. “Freeport was also impressed by our ability to adapt and upgrade our technologies to meet their requirements. We always partner with our customers to manage complexity, bringing to the oil and gas business GE’s experience from other industries and helping customers to overcome oil and gas industry challenges.”

GE will build and package the refrigeration trains in Florence, Italy and tests will be conducted in Massa, Italy. They are due to be delivered in Texas in 2016 and be fully operational by 2017.