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Turbomachinery Configuration for LNG Projects Concept Selection

Refrigerant compressors are the pumping heart of any liquefied natural gas plant. Those compressors are nowadays systematically of centrifugal type, they vary in size and configuration, being influenced by the context of the project. Steam turbines, gas turbines (heavy duty or aero-derivative) and electric motors – and a combination of these three - are all possible options to drive the refrigerant compressors. It has been demonstrated that a single shaft can drive one, two or three compressor casings depending on plant capacity, the liquefaction process technology and balancing needs of power. This is particularly interesting as drivers with larger output power and efficiency can be considered. This paper will elaborate on the selection of an optimum turbomachinery configuration from a technical perspective. This paper builds on technical experience attained through working on multiple concept and early FEED studies for turbomachinery selection in LNG projects, some of which have gone to execution.

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