ANCHORAGE (AP) -- BP plans to install a state-of-the-art power generation system at its gas-to-liquids test facility in Nikiski.
The company said it will install a Siemens Westinghouse $6.5 million solid oxide fuel cell unit to convert natural gas directly into electricity through an electrochemical process. The process is much like that used in a battery.
The fuel cell will have few moving parts and will result in less air pollution.
The unit operates at an electrical efficiency of 45 percent compared to about 30 percent for a diesel generator. It also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than a third from a similar-sized diesel generator.
The U.S. Department of Energy provided a $2 million grant for the project.
BP's $86 million dollar gas-to-liquids demonstration plant is designed to convert methane into high-quality synthetic crude oil. It is expected to begin operating sometime during the first half of next year.
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