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World’s largest SNG plant goes on-stream in China

31 October 2013

Haldor Topsøe A/S announced that Qinghua, the largest substitute natural gas (SNG) plant in the world was started in the city of Yining, Xinjiang, China. The plant makes SNG from coal gasification, with a planned annual output of 1.4 billion normal cubic meters of SNG. Topsøe has designed the methanation section of the plant.

The plant, owned and operated by the Qinghua Group, is the largest single-train SNG operation in the world, representing a total investment of $4.1 billion. The plant uses Haldor Topsøe catalysts and process technology, namely the company's TREMP methanation technology which enables the production of SNG from synthesis gas derived from coal. In the methanation process carbon oxides react with hydrogen to form methane, and the methane rich gas is sold as substitute (or synthetic) natural gas.

SNG based on coal gasification is a replacement for natural gas that can be used on-site, fed into a natural gas pipeline or liquefied into LNG. The majority of the SNG produced at Qinghua will be fed to a pipeline infrastructure and transported to more densely populated areas of China, particularly in the eastern part of the country.

“Due to the uneven balance between supply and demand of natural gas in China coupled with rising price of oil, coal based SNG constitutes an attractive alternative to secure energy and address energy and environmental issues, especially in areas such as West China where lignite or coal reserves are abundant,” said Per Bakkerud, Managing Director in Haldor Topsøe China.

In addition to the Qinghua project, Haldor Topsøe is involved in two other large SNG projects in China; Huineng and China Power International (CPI). Furthermore Haldor Topsøe is also part of a large scale SNG project in South Korea named POSCO with a total capacity of 4.5 billion normal cubic meters per year.

Source: Haldor Topsøe