QGC, a leading Australian coal seam gas explorer and producer, has signed a contract with a consortium of GE and Laing O’Rourke for the construction of a water treatment plant in southwest Queensland that will support the region’s rapidly growing coal seam gas industry. Coal seam gas is a form of natural gas trapped in coal beds by water and ground pressure. High salinity water is produced as part of coal seam gas extraction, which must be treated in an environmentally responsible manner.
The new Kenya Water Treatment Plant will use GE’s advanced membrane and thermal water treatment technologies to desalinate water produced during the extraction of gas from the coal seams. This process will produce water that is suitable for beneficial reuse in a variety of applications, such as irrigation for farmers and process water for industrial customers. The facility, to be built near the town of Chinchilla about 290 kilometres west of Brisbane, will have the capacity to treat up to 72 million litres per day.
QGC, a BG Group business, is developing one of Australia’s largest capital infrastructure projects to turn Queensland’s abundant coal seam gas reserves into liquefied natural gas (LNG). Rising global demand for energy and the increasing pressure for cleaner fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are spurring the development of Queensland’s LNG industry, using coal seam gas as the feedstock.
“GE will provide the technical expertise and the process equipment for the project, while we will bring our design experience and construction skills to the job,” said Stephen Wilson, infrastructure general manager for Laing O’Rourke. “Our engineering expertise, complementing GE’s expertise, was critical in securing the contract.”
“Advanced treatment processes will enable the Kenya Water Treatment Plant to convert coal seam gas water to a quality suitable for beneficial reuse. This supports both QGC’s objectives and the Australian government’s water management policy for this growth industry,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.
The new water treatment facility will feature its own power generation plant, which will be powered by coal seam methane. The project builds on an existing relationship between GE and Laing O’Rourke; the two companies worked together on the recently completed Darling Downs Power Station, the largest combined-cycle power station in Australia.
The Kenya Water Treatment Plant is expected to begin commercial operation in the final quarter of 2011.
GE (ge.com) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, health care solutions and television programming, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide.
GE serves the energy sector by developing and deploying technology that helps make efficient use of natural resources. With nearly 85,000 global employees and 2009 revenues of $40 billion, GE Energy (ge.com/energy) is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.
Howard Masto / Beth Coffman, Masto Public Relations
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