GE's 30th License in Support of the U.S. Chemicals Industry
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - August 1, 2007 - GE Energy has signed a contract to license its gasification technology to Eastman Chemical Company for a new hydrogen, methanol and ammonia production facility in Texas.
GE's technology will enable Eastman to produce these chemicals from a lower cost U.S. supply of petroleum coke, rather than natural gas. This is the 30th licensing agreement in U.S. to use GE's gasification technology for similar chemical operations.
The Gulf Coast Region in Texas is taking a leadership role in projects that convert refinery byproducts into high value fuel for a variety of industrial applications. GE's gasification technology allows chemical producers to use lower-cost domestic sources of feedstock, rather than natural gas, to produce chemicals. Eastman is already a licensee of the GE technology, having utilized it to manufacture chemicals from coal in Tennessee since 1984.
With the large number of refineries operating in the Gulf Coast area, byproducts such as petcoke that can be gasified are readily available. The proximity of oil fields also offers opportunities for enhanced oil recovery projects, which use various processes to increase the amount of oil than can be recovered from a field. These factors have helped to spur interest in gasification projects throughout the region.
Under development by Eastman, the new plant is planned for Beaumont, Texas. Eastman will utilize the GE technology to turn petroleum coke (petcoke) - a typical byproduct of the refining process - into syngas, which then will be used to produce hydrogen, methanol and ammonia. Commercial operation is scheduled to start in 2011.
Gasification projects such as the new Eastman plant offer potential environmental benefits, since carbon capture technology can be employed to eliminate emissions that normally are associated with the burning of refinery byproducts.
"In addition to our cleaner coal-to-power initiative, we are seeing strong interest in industrial segments such as chemical and refineries, where refinery byproducts that otherwise would be waste material are gasified into high value fuels for use in chemical production," said John Lavelle, general manager of gasification for GE Energy.
"Over the years, GE gasification technology has been licensed for 30 gasification projects in the U.S. chemical industry," he said. "Of the 15 plants currently in operation, 12 are for chemical production, and the technology has also been licensed for three additional upcoming projects in the U.S."
GE's gasification technology is widely used around the world, particularly in China, where the company has 30 licensing agreement in place.
About GE Energy
GE Energy (www.ge.com/energy) is one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies, with 2006 revenue of $19 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy works 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. Numerous GE Energy products are certified under ecomagination, GE's corporate-wide initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.
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