By Sue-Ann Wayow
A NEW gas-to-liquid (GTL) plant has been inaugurated in Pointe-a-Pierre.
The NiQuan Energy’s plant has a capacity of 2,400 barrels per day and produces high-performance, low-emission energy products; paraffinic GTL diesel and GTL naphtha, from natural gas.
Niquan GTL is the first commercial plant of its kind in the Western Hemisphere a press release from the company stated.
It is also one of only five commercial GTL plants operating in the world built exclusively for the commercial production of GTL products and using the Low Temperature Fischer-Tropsch (LTFT) process.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley spoke at the opening ceremony.
Rowley said, “This gas-to-liquids plant is a prime example of the successful development of the country’s export potential for high-value-added products, through the collaboration of the private sector, the sector banking and government.
“Let me congratulate NiQuan and all parties involved for seeing this project complete. I wish NiQuan the best of success in its future operations because its success contributes to the benefit of the country and all of its citizens. ”
Group CEO of NiQuan Energy Ainsley Gill said: “GTL represents clean energy, a bridge from a dirty energy past to a cleaner energy future.
“It is a bridge that everyone wanted to build but for many reasons most have not. With this plant, NiQuan Energy has built the first bridge and there will be more, many more.
“And not only in Trinidad and Tobago and America, but all over the world. Our clean energy products will make a difference. That is the belief that It’s been driving us since day one. It’s what we promised to deliver and we’ve kept our promise here today. ”
The plant achieved a local content of more than 90% and was financed using regional resources.
Gill said: “Originally we envisioned an internationally funded project, the reality is that it has been regionally funded which, we believe, is a first for an energy infrastructure project in the Caribbean.
The plant started operations in December 2020 and is currently building up to a capacity of 2,400 barrels of GTL Paraffinic Diesel and GTL Naphtha at a split of 80:20 per day.
Critical Fischer-Tropsch catalyst technology for the plant is offered by Emerging Fuels Technology, Inc., a leader on GTL technology.
The natural gas supply for the plant has been secured by the Trinidad and Tobago Upstream Downstream Energy Company and Petrotrin is the purchaser of the product.
The plant was completed in a two-phase process with the first phase involving a full inspection and evaluation of the GTL plant, along with the development of a detailed scope of work required to complete the GTL plant and bring it into operation. The second phase was the completion phase.
The first phase was completed in January 2019 and phase two was completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.
GTL products are characterised by high performance and low emissions compared to equivalents derived from crude oil and other energy sources. They are also biodegradable and have a low toxicity, which confers more advantages over products made from crude oil.
Paraffinic GTL Diesel is a clean, on-spec compression ignition fuel, the two main characteristics of which are essentially zero sulfur content and high cetane number. Paraffinic GTL diesel offers significant reductions in sulfur dioxide and Particulate Matter (“PM,” also known as “black smoke”) emissions, making it a candidate in major markets with stringent emission standards.
It can be used as a transportation fuel, a chemical feedstock, or for other industrial applications.
GTL Naphtha is a highly paraffinic chemical feedstock / fuel materials and is one of the most efficient liquid feedstocks for ethylene cracking. It can also be used as a gasoline blending component.