Gas generator power plant in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Gas generator power plant in the Ecuadorian Amazon

October 8, 2019
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HIMOINSA supplies 5 MW of continuous power with generator sets powered by wellhead gas to meet the energy needs of Ecuador’s most important oil field in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Flanked by the Napo River (a tributary of the Amazon River), the Block 43 oil extraction zone is a large oil field located in Ecuadorian Amazon, in the eastern part of the province of Orellana, to the west of Ecuador. Its certified oil reserves amount to 1,672 million barrels, equivalent to approximately 41% of the country’s crude oil reserves; this means that this extractive region has been declared an area of National Interest by Ecuador’s National Assembly.

Implemented by Petroamazonas EP, it is estimated that the Block 43 project will reach its maximum production level in six years’ time, with an approximate extraction level of 330,000 barrels of oil per day. This project has been developed using the most advanced technology and environmental measures, minimising the environmental impact on the Amazon ecosystem; this includes directional and horizontal drilling, which make it possible to use a smaller drilling surface by placing several wells on the same platform.

With the aim of contributing to sustainable development, HIMOINSA, through Energy Solutions, has designed a power plant powered by wellhead gas, with 5MW (COP), integrated with the other diesel power plants.

  • INNOVATION

Gas-powered generator sets that use the associated gas generated by the crude oil extraction process itself as a source of energy, thus converting waste that is harmful to the environment into energy.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Generator sets that reduce carbon, CO2 and NOx emissions.

  • PARALLEL CONNECTION

Using a Woodward Easygen control panel, the gensets are controlled by the oil plant and can operate individually or in parallel with other diesel plants, depending on the power requirements of the complex.

  • DURABILITY & SAFETY

A tropicalised container, IP34 protection (antiparticles and water ingress), as well as fire, ATEX gas leakage and vibration sensors.

  • REDUCED ACOUSTIC EMISSION

Canopy soundproofed with high-density rock wool to mitigate sound emissions.

OBJECTIVE

The project objective has been twofold: On the one hand, to provide continuous power to meet the growing power needs of the extraction plant, in parallel with other existing diesel generators; on the other hand, to reduce the flaring released by the crude extraction process itself, preserving the natural environment of the site.

From the beginning of the project, generator sets were required that were designed to withstand the extreme conditions of heat and humidity typical of the Amazon jungle, in addition to adhering to the compliancy requirements of the extraction plant itself.

SOLUTION FOR THE ECUADORIAN AMAZON

In this project, the key objective for HIMOINSA has been to offer an innovative solution that offers the perfect balance between performance, power, safety and environmental sustainability; generator sets with high power engines, driven by associated gas, connected in parallel to generate 5 MW of constant power to the plant.

These generators have been installed inside bespoke containers that are insulated against heat and humidity, as well as incorporating multiple safety sensors and a watertight container specially designed to avoid any expulsion of fluids to the outside.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Engine. Gas engines with high mechanical resistance have been used, capable of generating 975kW of continuous power, fuelled by a gas with very low compressibility and reduced levels of particle, NOx, SOx and CO2 emissions.

Control panel. The plant is managed by Woodward Easygen control panels which allow it to operate independently or in parallel with the rest of the diesel plants installed in the oil field.

Container. IP34 external protection that ensures correct insulation against solids with diameters greater than 2.5 mm and 360º protection against water spray. It is also prepared to withstand temperatures of over 40 ºC and a relative humidity greater than 70%.

Safety. The container is equipped with different sensors that prevent gas leakages, fire vibrations, as well as a watertight compartment with a special seal to ensure that, in the event of any type of spillage, the fluid does not leak out of the container.

The container features a ventilation system for explosive ATEX atmospheres and a silent spark extinguisher, thereby guaranteeing the safe operation of the equipment and the correct ventilation and cooling of all components.

This project has posed a great challenge for two reasons: A very low quality gas supply and adverse environmental conditions. We managed to solve both problems satisfactorily, helping to reduce considerably emissions from the associated gas flaring, thus helping to preserve the environment of the Amazon rainforest. Commented Manuel Aguilera, Gas Product Manager at HIMOINSA

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