The Sinopec Qilu No 2 fertilizer plant in China has achieved the world’s longest continuous operation record for a licensed GE coal-fed gasification facility of 481 days. The record-breaking operating cycle began on December 14, 2011 and ended on April 8, 2013.
“The reliability of GE gasification technology, combined with our focus on excellent plant operations and equipment management, made this accomplishment possible,” said Sinopec Qilu No 2 fertilizer plant director Song Hong Peng. “Now, we look forward to building on this success. Working with GE opens the door to additional technology innovations while we continue to find ways to enhance everything from feed-stock selection to preventive maintenance.”
The plant, licensed in 2006 and located in Zibo, Shandong province, uses three GE gasifiers, allowing two to run while one is on standby for planned maintenance. GE gasification technology at Sinopec Qilu began operation in October 2008. The plant produces a synthesis gas consisting of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This gas is used as raw material to produce butyl alcohol and methanol.
As part of the growing coal-to-chemical industry in China, the plant is expected to meet new and stricter regulations for efficiency and water consumption.
“Given the vast coal reserves in China and the importance of the country’s coal-to-chemical industry, GE continues to research and develop innovations that will further improve operations, including energy efficiency and water consumption,” said GE Power & Water's Power Generation China business leader Yang Dan. “GE has a track record of more than 50 years of success in China, we know how important it is to operate simply and reliably, and help customers achieve their financial goals. Sinopec Qilu sets the record, but in many ways it is not an exception: Over the years - in China, the US and Europe - GE gasification technology has proven itself robust, adaptable and reliable.”
In 2012, GE announced the creation of its GE Shenhua Gasification Technology Company joint venture with the Shenhua Group to develop and deploy cleaner energy solutions in China, with a focus on using coal in a much cleaner way. The company combines GE’s expertise in coal gasification technology with Shenhua’s expertise in applying GE technology for coal gasification and coal-fired power generation.
Yang Dan added, “Future coal-to-chemical projects in China also will benefit from GE’s integrated Radiant Syngas Cooler (RSC), extended slurry and advanced refractory technologies.”
GE’s gasification technology utilizes the company’s latest-generation RSC heat recovery system to capture heat in the form of steam during the gasification process, which converts coal to syngas. This enhanced steam production greatly reduces the need for additional steam or power produced from stand-alone boilers, boosting the efficiency and reducing the emissions of coal-to-chemical facilities.