Saturday, March 2, 2013

No. 695: Hitachi Zosen’s GTL technology goes to the U.S. (March 2, 2013)

Business trend:
Hitachi Zosen will market Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) equipment in the U.S. to participate in the growingly brisk shale gas business. GTL technology is to produce light oil, heating oil, and naphtha from natural gas by a chemical reaction. Natural gas prices declined sharply due to dramatically increasing shale gas production in the U.S. Although GTL is an advanced technology, it is being applied only in a few countries including Qatar because of high natural gas prices. The situation has changed. Now, leading oil companies worldwide are expected to start the GTL business to liquefy natural gas locally.

Hitachi Zosen is trying to market the reactor to react gas substances at a high temperature and under high pressure to produce synthetic oil. Being the core equipment of GTL technology, it is a hug vessel that is 50 m high and 10 m in diameter, and it weighs 2,000 tons. A highly sophisticated technology is required to increase the sealability. Currently, only four companies have enough technological competence to built vessels of this kind. It is about 10 billion yen per unit. The energy revolution initiated by shale gas is creating lots of business opportunities for related industries.  

A substantiative plant of GTL technology

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