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The world has discovered that extensive energy consumption has profound economic and environmental implications globally, as well as on the bottom line.
For most refineries, even when prices are low, energy represents one of the largest components of operating costs.
Industries report energy waste as high as 20% due to process system leaks, inefficient equipment, lack of useful data and poor controls.
Competitive pressure is driving oil refiners to minimize operating costs as they struggle to meet new and increasingly stringent product specifications. Additionally, the pressure for longer run lengths and higher utilization is increasing emphasis on safety and environmental responsibility. Companies also want their refineries to be ready to move into specialty product niches and/or to respond to evolving market opportunities. Because of product and market pressure, refiners need an objective measure of their ability to be competitive in terms of feedstock, costs, energy consumption, product yields, maintenance expenses, staffing levels, and reliability.
Energy is the single largest cash operating expense for a Refinery Plant -- accounting for about 50% of total operating costs.
In fact, 10-20% of energy in a barrel of crude oil is required to convert the rest into products.
Refineries typically have high electrical costs with energy requirements ranging from 50 to 180 MW.
Making the most of process waste gas is an available solution to generate power (and consequently decrease energy costs) and avoid CO2 emissions.
GE Hot Gas Expanders for Power Recovery Systems can help refinery operators benefit from this enormous opportunity.
An average-sized 18 MW GE Hot Gas Expander avoids the emission of more than 244,000 metric tons of CO2 per year from power generation, the equivalent of taking more than 44,000 passenger cars off U.S. roads for a year. Put in another way, this amount of CO2 is equivalent to the quantity of CO2 that is absorbed by 66,000 acres of US pine or fir forests every year, an area four times the size of Manhattan.
During the last decade, extensive improvement programs have been carried out on expanders, enabling us to guarantee 4-5 years of uninterrupted run time. Thanks to materials selection and mechanical and aerodynamic design, GE expanders can bear the corrosion and the erosion caused by crude oil, which is currently used in modern refinery processes. This in turn contributes to the alignment of other equipment maintenance programs that a refinery may have, thus leading to the decrease of overall plant maintenance costs.
Furthermore, an average-sized 18 MW GE Hot Gas Expander for Power Recovery Systems can save a refinery operator approximately $9 million in electricity costs per year compared to a system without an expander.
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