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First commercial ORegen waste heat recovery system being installed at Alliance Pipeline


November 7, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

November 7, 2011 – The world’s first commercial ORegen waste heat recovery system—a technology developed by GE Oil & Gas that enables a gas turbine to produce extra power without any additional emissions or fuel consumption, and no water use—will be installed at Alliance Pipeline’s (APL) Whitecourt Compressor Station about 200 km northwest of Edmonton, Alta.

The deal was announced at the Global Clean Energy Congress by Alliance Pipeline and its sister company, NRGreen Power. The ORegen technology qualified for partial government funding through the Alberta Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp.

GE Oil & Gas has received a contract to supply the ORegen system to NRGreen Power, who is coordinating the project. ORegen will produce 14 MW of electricity using waste heat from the existing APL compressor station, avoiding associated CO2 emissions.

NRGreen Power is involved in the commercial development of electrical generation opportunities associated with the Canadian portion of the APL natural gas pipeline system by recovering and converting waste heat at compressor stations and transforming it into electricity. The benefits of deploying the systems also include the improvement of the overall plant efficiency up to 20%.

“We congratulate Alliance Pipeline and NRGreen Power for their leadership in developing this landmark project, which offers both economic and environmental benefits for the pipeline industry,” said Andrew Way, vice-president global services of GE Oil & Gas. “We are very pleased that our breakthrough technology has been selected to support this vital pipeline, which brings natural gas into the heartland of the United States. We are confident that our new ORegen waste heat recovery system will deliver on its promise and will help Alliance and NRGreen Power to reach their environmental and productivity goals.”

The Alliance Pipeline transports about 1.6 billion cf/day of natural gas from British Columbia and northwestern Alberta through Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa to a terminal in Chicago, Ill. GE has supplied all of the compression equipment for the mainline pipeline system, including 16 gas turbine-driven compression systems.

“The installation of the first ORegen system continues our tradition of working with GE to keep our pipeline system in the technology forefront of our industry,” said Murray Birch, president and CEO of NRGreen, an affiliate of Alliance Pipeline. “We expect the system to eliminate more than 38,000 metric tons of CO2 per year and at the same time produce additional electricity directly connected to the grid without any water consumption.”

NRGreen Power will start construction of the facility basement in May 2012. The ORegen system will be delivered to NRGreen at the end of 2012, with installation and commissioning expected to take about six months. Commercial operation is planned by 2013.