Russia’s Novatek plans hydrogen-powered LNG production

Russia’s Novatek plans to convert gas turbines at its LNG production facilities to a hydrogen-based fuel mix as part of a deal with Italy’s Nuovo Pignone aimed at slashing emissions.

The independent LNG producer said Monday it signed a memorandum of understanding with the unit of US tech firm Baker Hughes.

Under the deal, the duo will cooperate in developing electrical and gas turbine solutions for natural gas and LNG production, as well as solutions for reducing CO2 emissions, Novatek said.

In addition, the two firms will start implementing a project to convert gas turbines to hydrogen-based fuel gas mix, the statement said.

Baker Hughes said in a separate statement the pilot program includes introducing hydrogen blends into the main process for natural gas liquefaction, including at Novatek’s Yamal LNG complex.

The firm would provide engineering and turbomachinery equipment to convert existing natural gas liquefaction trains at Yamal LNG to run on hydrogen blends rather than solely run with methane from feed gas, it said.

Baker Hughes is already one of the main equipment suppliers to Novatek’s Yamal LNG and Arctic LNG 2 projects.

“We are expanding our cooperation with them to develop efficient and economically viable solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change on our projects – one of the essential topics for Novatek and the entire oil and gas industry,” chief executive and Russian billionaire Leonid Mikhelson, said.

Mikhelson added hydrogen technologies have “great prospects” to reduce the level of global greenhouse gas emissions but further work is required to develop and adapt these technologies for operations in Arctic climatic conditions.

Worth mentioning here, this is the second deal for Novatek involving hydrogen in the last seven days.

The firm signed a deal with Germany’s Uniper last week to develop hydrogen projects both in Russia and Europe.

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