WLPGA Director David Tyler met with new member General Electric (GE) in September at their Hammersmith offices in London.
Christoph Reimnitz and Peter Mackey work in the recently formed Gas to Power/Development & Investment Division of GE Global Growth & Operations. The division is focusing on providing large gas powered generating facilities in countries where electricity supplies are either limited or unreliable. These facilities have the capability to produce over 100MW of electrical power and would normally be fed by natural gas. Where natural gas is unavailable LPG can be used. One of their first projects was in the US Virgin Islands where GE teamed up with Vitol and retrofitted the generating units from fuel oil to LPG earlier this year (https://www.wlpga.org/publication/u-s-virgin-islands-conversion-lpg-electrical-power-generation/).
Christoph Reimnitz said the current focus is on Africa. A pilot programme is being arranged with 4MW units in Nigeria. There is also a larger project in Ghana where 140MW units are being planned to run on LPG before natural gas becomes available (http://oneenergy.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Africa-Report-Supplement-on-Ghana-1000-Final.compressed.pdf). Christoph will be speaking at the World LPG Forum in Florence in November on Wednesday 16th . He said “…I will describe some of the programmes that GE are working on that will require LPG and how GE can partner with companies in the LPG industry to provide the product and help make these projects happen…”. Christoph added “…we see this as a great opportunity for the LPG industry to lay down some large facilities in countries that are both short of electricity and modern energy. Our projects create an environment for justifying the infrastructure needed to supply large volumes of LPG for power generation…”.
Peter Mackey said it was a great opportunity for the LPG industry in countries where the infrastructure is limited. He said “…GE joined the WLPGA to get a better understanding of the global LPG industry. We will be working in countries where natural gas may not be currently available. In those countries we will need to establish an LPG infrastructure, including large sea fed storage facilities and a road or rail distribution system. These assets will not be stranded when natural gas arrives later. They can also form the basis of an LPG cylinder business where those assets can be used to create an efficient LPG cylinder and bulk business to displace traditional fuels such as wood and charcoal”.
WLPGA looks forward to working with GE.