Siemens Compressors For Steam Methane Reformer

A large industrial gas company has recently selected Siemens to supply three Dresser-Rand 5HHE-VL-NL reciprocating compressors for a new steam methane reformer (SMR) in Texas. The SMR will provide high-purity hydrogen for the gas company’s customers throughout the region.

Commissioning of the compressors is expected in 2020. Once completed in 2021, the SMR will become the largest hydrogen production unit in the U.S., increasing the gas company’s hydrogen capacity to more than 1.5 bcfd.

“Over the past two decades, Siemens has established trustful cooperation with this customer to expand its U.S. Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline system, which is one of the largest in the world,” said Patrice Laporte, vice president, Siemens Gas and Power, Oil & Gas for the Americas. “This recent order builds on our companies’ longstanding partnership and will mark the 23rd, 24th, and 25th reciprocating compressors that Siemens has supplied to this gas company since 2001.”

With the goal of maximizing efficiency and reducing costs, the customer selected a standardized product design for the SMR. The three 12.75 in. stroke 5HHE-VL reciprocating compressors will incorporate similar configurations to units that have been supplied to the customer in the past. Critical to the design, Siemens said, is the non-lubricated cylinder construction, which eliminates the need for a costly oil removal system. Additional design features include integrated lube oil consoles, a cooling water console, purge panels, pulsation vessels, intercoolers, aftercooler, relief valves, and process control valves. A slow-speed synchronous motor will drive the compressors.

“Working early on to develop a standardized compressor design is yielding significant benefits by reducing plant design, engineering, and installation costs, decreasing personnel training requirements, and will allow our customer to minimize its inventory for spare parts,” said Laporte. “We look forward to helping them efficiently and reliably supply hydrogen to their customers across the Gulf Coast region.”

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