HongHua Group, a Chinese-based manufacturer of drilling rigs, has completed commissioning of the first three Waukesha mobileFLEX gas engines, GE’s Distributed Power business announced. The engines are powering a rig working on new shale gas projects near Deyang City in Sichuan Province; the rig can drill to 5,000-m deep.
The first three Waukesha units were commissioned in August 2015 as part of a nearly 3-megawatt on-site power demonstration project between HongHua Electric, a subsidiary of HongHua Group, and rig owner Sinopec. The companies are are evaluating the use of the natural gas-fueled Waukesha units as an alternative to diesel engines. The project marks GE’s first deployment of its Waukesha mobileFLEX engines for a drilling application outside the US.
The demonstration project is the result of a multiyear frame agreement that HongHua signed with GE in 2014 to use the Waukesha engines to provide reliable power for its drilling rigs.
“We are always looking to incorporate new technologies like GE’s Waukesha mobileFLEX gas engine systems that add value to our drilling rigs for our customers,” Mi Zhang, President of HongHua, said. “We are pleased to support China’s efforts to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions by demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits of using the Waukesha units as a cost-effective alternative to diesel gen-sets in our rigs.”
Using the Waukesha units, HongHua’s customers can utilize locally sourced natural gas to fuel the engines instead of relying on diesel fuel that needs to be transported over long distances to drilling sites.
“With environmental regulations in China and other countries becoming tighter, drilling rig operators are increasingly turning to cleaner-burning natural gas solutions in their drilling rigs as an alternative to traditional diesel gen-sets,” Bright Yin, Regional Sales Leader for China for GE’s Distributed Power business, said. “This demonstration project with HongHua Electric and Sinopec is showcasing the benefits of our Waukesha mobileFLEX gas engines as a cost-effective option for drill rig operators in the global unconventional gas sector.”