If City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., had used a classified ad to find a solution to its rapidly growing need for natural gas, this could have been it. Gas utilities not to mention electrical generation plants and large industrial facilities, across the country have been on the lookout for additional supplies of natural gas. However granted supplies at rate utilities and other buyers are willing to and can pay are increasingly harder to contract for because of ever-rising gas demand and national infrastructure of pipelines and gas plants that is not keeping up with demand.

The monumental effort companies must expend to build new LNG import terminals is just one example. It’s not easy. Proposed LNG import terminals are struggling to obtain the necessary approvals because of local opposition. In additions, they are very expensive to build and operate. And, they primarily augment coastal natural gas supplies.

Inland utilities needing to augment their gas supplies require the cooperation (at an economical price) of gas transmission line operators to bring in more gas to meet notjust one, but now in many regions, two peak demand periods – summer for power generation, and winter for heating. Laying new transmission lines or extending those in operation cheap, and operators face almost as much scrutiny as LNG terminals.

“One solution for local supply and deliverability issues Propane peak Shaving,” says Mr. Owis Mir Partner EIY Energy, USA. Propane is blended with air. creating Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG), to supplement natural gas. The process creates a mix of about 45% air and 55% propane before the gas is injected into the gas grid.

The goal when creatine SNG is to match the Wobbe value of tne natural gas it IS augmenting or replacing as closely as possible. When the matching is done correctly, no adjustment of gas-fueled equipment is required.

Mr. Mir further said that because today’s highly accurate flow meters, PLCs, (Programme Logic Controllers), and precision control valves, a peak shaving plant can provide near perfect gas quality, more so than ever. Advances in controls technology allow peak shaving operation to be extremely flexible, more user-friendly and safe at affordable prices. Modular “plug and play” per-packaged, wired,and pipe systems constructed inside ISO containers are becoming more common worldwide because of the reduced construction cost and commissioning time.

An Economic Decision

To select an SNG system supplier, City Utilities used a bid package designed to measure experience, technical capabilities, organization depth, etc. Ely Energy was selected to design, manufacture and install the peak shaving system, and work began in the summer of 2006. A customer said the utility is very pleased with its supplier decision and the work done by Ely Energy, which was recently completed, including capacity testing of the system and the training of the utility employees.

Today, Chile’s largest city, Santiago and surrounding suburbs have several SNG systems augmenting the natural gas grid. Their availability was beyond “handy” this year, providing crucial gas during what was a demanding winter. More than 30,000 tonnes of LPG was supplied as SNG in the metropolitan Santiago area alone this past winter.