Success breeds success for BP GTL plant in Nikiski
Underscoring the theme that “Success breeds success,” BP Gas to Liquids operations manager Paul Jacobson told the Kenai Chapter of the Alliance at their monthly luncheon meeting last week that the GTL plant which was originally planned to be dismantled in 2005, would remain in operation throughout 2006 and maybe beyond. “We’re convincing people that there really is so much we can learn in running the plant reliably and that was one of our challenges this year was to demonstrate that and in our last two months of operations we’ve only been down for two days while successfully operating for a month on either side so having 60 straight days of successful operation really gives confidence to our management that we can generate even more success and that creates purpose for us to continue,” said Jacobson.
According to Jacobson two key pieces of the process that they have been proving at the plant are proprietary technology developed by BP with the intention of building large processing plants elsewhere in the world, or licensing the process to other developers. “It’s not the right opportunity for everywhere such as the Alaska North Slope where we feel the right answer is a pipeline to the North American market, but there are projects such as the one BP is developing now in Colombia where the GTL process makes more economic sense than trying to pipe the gas out of the country. The key for GTL processing is wherever it makes economic sense to convert natural gas to diesel fuel and that is the technology we are proving out here in Nikiski,” said Jacobson.
The GTL plant in Nikiski is generating information for large commercial scale plants such as the Colombia BP project, “That project is not scheduled for operation until near 2011, so the next year is critical for them because we are giving them the main information for their process design, and after that we continue to think that there will be further opportunities that could even last another 5 years or beyond. But of course nothing is guaranteed and it goes back to our motto that success breeds success,” said Jacobson. Jacobson was most proud of the GTL plant safety record stating that they have had no loss of man hours due to an injury since the plant began construction five years ago.
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