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Wärtsilä receives first US order for a Puregas Solutions upgrading plant

Puregas Solutions, a part of the Finland-headed marine, oil, and gas technology group Wärtsilä Oyj, has announced that it has been contracted to supply a turnkey biogas upgrading plant to the United States (US). The plant will upgrade biogas from an existing anaerobic digester (AD) to produce biomethane for injection into the gas grid. It has been ordered by an undisclosed "leader in sustainable agricultural practices", in the state of Oregon. The order is the first for Wärtsilä in the US.

Wärtsilä’s Puregas Solutions is to supply a biogas upgrading plant to an existing manure-based biogas plant in Oregon to convert biogas into biomethane for gas grid injection as renewable natural gas (RNG) for use as a transportation fuel in California. It is the first order for such unit in the US for Wärtsilä (photo courtesy Wärtsilä).

The Puregas solution will process and upgrade  3 100 cfm (cubic feet per minute) of biogas into renewable natural gas (RNG). The biogas is derived from the anaerobic digestion (AD) of manure from more than 50 000 dairy cows.

The RNG will then be injected into a pipeline for use as a transportation fuel in California, the adjoining state. The project generates Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), as well as credits under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

The plant is expected to produce around 81 MMBtu of biomethane per annum. According to Wärtsilä, this is roughly equivalent to the annual energy consumption of over 15 000 households, 570 city buses, or 10 000 cars. The value of the order has not been disclosed.

The project includes the installation of gas conditioning equipment, as well as compression to 975 psi for pipeline injection. The Puregas CApure CA80 biogas upgrading plant is scheduled to be delivered during the first quarter of 2019. The contract also includes the supply and installation of a hydrogen sulphide (H2S) removal system.

This project, which essentially converts the methane gas from animal manure into a sustainable transportation fuel, is environmentally significant and an indicator perhaps of a future trend in biogas upgrading in the agricultural industry. Our capability to deliver the necessary technology in a turnkey solution was the key to securing this important contract, said Jan Molin, Managing Director, Puregas Solutions.

This is the first order received by Puregas from the USA, and is in line with the increasing global trend for using chemical absorption technology to provide “unrivaled” methane recovery, thereby maximising revenues with low operating costs.

In 2017, Wärtsilä acquired Puregas Solutions, the Sweden based provider of turnkey biogas upgrading solutions. Puregas is a leading player in its field and has a biogas specialized local presence in Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (US). The company utilizes a unique CApure process to convert raw biogas to biomethane and RNG.

Recently, the company has begun the commissioning of an upgrading plant in Sweden as well as a biomethane liquefaction unit in Norway.

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