UOP LLC, a Honeywell (HON) company, announced today that its Separex™ membrane system and sulfur removal adsorbent technologies have been selected for Spain's Castor Underground Natural Gas Storage (UGS) Project.
The Separex system and UOP GB-220 adsorbent will be used to remove impurities from the extracted natural gas in the on-shore facilities of the project located in Vinaroz, Spain. Removing impurities is a critical step in upgrading natural gas so it can be transported by pipeline.
The Separex system will be UOP's largest to date in terms of throughput and, when complete, will allow the facility to process up to 980 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of natural gas to provide reliable delivery in peak demand periods in Spain.
"The Castor UGS project will offer an estimated total of 1.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas storage capacity to support the significant growth in demand in Spain, and we are proud that the reliability and performance characteristics of our technologies will meet their needs," said Gary Sturtevant, gas processing business director for Honeywell's UOP. "We continue to advance our membrane and adsorbents technologies to meet global demand for natural gas treating and conversion."
Global demand for natural gas is predicted to grow 2.5 percent per year through 2015, with the market in Spain growing at around 15 percent per year, according to the International Energy Agency.
The UOP Separex technology upgrades natural gas streams by removing carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and water vapor in order to meet the quality standards specified by pipeline transmission and distribution companies as well as end-users of the natural gas.
Separex membranes operate with very high on-stream factors for difficult-to-treat gas streams in remote locations. Separex systems can be installed on-shore or off-shore, require little to no utilities, and provide for very short start-up times and extreme turndown capabilities. To date, 70 Separex units have been installed worldwide.
The UOP GB-220 adsorbent is an advanced spherical high-capacity metal oxide absorbent designed for the removal of hydrogen sulfide, a contaminant found in natural gas.
The Castor UGS project consists of an underground gas storage reservoir that lies at a depth of 1,720 meters approximately 21 kilometers off the east coast of Spain, two offshore platforms for 13 wells and processing facilities; an onshore compression and processing plant located in the municipality of Vinaroz and an adjoining 30-inch pipeline. The development will be operated by Escal UGS, a joint venture of ACS Group, Engas and Castor Limited Partnership (majority-share-owned by Eurogas Corp.).
The UOP equipment and products will be delivered in 2011. The development of the storage facility will start in 2012, with first gas extraction expected in 2014.