First product achieved at commercial reference site.
ENVIA Energy's Oklahoma City GTL project is located adjacent to Waste Management's East Oak landfill site and will use a combination of landfill gas and natural gas as feedstock. ENVIA Energy is a joint venture that was announced in March 2014 to produce renewable fuels and chemicals from biogas and natural gas using GTL.
The plant deploys Velocys' full-scale commercial Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reactors, the manufacture of which was completed in 2015. On-site loading of Velocys' catalyst into the Fischer-Tropsch reactors was completed in the autumn of 2016 by Velocys with support from its internationally-recognised partner Mourik.
During the first half of 2016, having made additional funding provision to ENVIA, Velocys sought and gained greater operational management involvement and shareholder influence in the project.
Velocys has supported the EPC contractor in leading the planning for and execution of the commissioning, start-up and operation of the plant. The Company has provided, under contract, an operability review, operating procedures and commissioning management.
Under a secondment agreement with ENVIA, Velocys’ team of experienced GTL operations managers, operators and engineers were deployed on site in Oklahoma City during the second half of 2016. This Velocys operations team, which served under the ENVIA Plant Manager, brought essential support to the ENVIA team through commissioning, start-up and early stage operations. The Velocys team brought a wealth of operational GTL plant expertise including commissioning and plant performance optimisation, drawing on experience gained at a number of large scale commercial GTL projects as well as from the Velocys pilot plant. A small number of key Velocys staff are being seconded to ENVIA over a longer transition period and the wider Velocys team remains available to support ENVIA operations, as needed.
First Fischer-Tropsch product was produced at the plant in February 2017. The fuels produced at the plant are expected to qualify under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and generate tradeable credits in the form of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).
The performance data (for example, for syngas purity, methane selectivity, liquid production, carbon monoxide conversion and activity index) that are available from the ENVIA plant meets the performance expectations set using models based on laboratory and pilot studies. Targets for the conversion of syngas to FT products and the yield of liquid products were achieved within 12 hours of the first start-up of the FT modules (the equivalent of one shift of plant operators).
The operations team has completed debugging activities on several non-Fischer-Tropsch units of the plant (which are routine at this stage of starting up a plant of the complexity of the ENVIA plant), and is continuing to implement the pre-planned procedure of ramping up production to target operational capacity over the coming months.
In parallel, we are starting to welcome key stakeholders to visit the plant and witness first-hand Velocys’ technology in action.
Neville Hargreaves discusses the significance of ENVIA Energy's project in "Setting the stage for the future of smaller scale GTL" – Gas Processing (Aug-2015).