Tushar Patel, marketing and sales manager for Atlas Copco Gas and Process, recently talked with us about the outlook for gas and LNG, and the innovations his company offers
What is your view of the future of gas and LNG in the overall global energy mix?
There are multiple uses for gas, giving the market a promising future. It can be used as a fuel and as feedstock for manufacturing chemicals and petrochemicals. It’s proving to be an economical and sustainable resource. LNG is a form of gas that can be transported between distant locations, making it promising in countries with emerging growth, such as Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India and Brazil. There’s also Argentina, the U.S., Canada, Russia, Germany and many other Western European countries. All are investing heavily in gas, whether as producers or users.
Are gas and LNG “interim fuels” as the world looks to renewables, or do they have a much longer future?
Gas is not a short-term solution. It has ample sources and availability. There are also emerging technologies and new markets for natural gas as a fuel. These possibilities were non-existent 20 years ago.
What is the European prospect for gas?
It will depend on evolving geopolitical situations, but Russia has historically been one of Europe’s most prominent gas producers and suppliers. However, Western Europe is now importing gas from prominent suppliers like the U.S. and the Middle East, as well as developing the infrastructure to import gas in the form of LNG. The region is becoming less dependent on Russia.
What technological innovations can ensure the industry’s success?
Anything that improves our ability to produce and process gas. Innovation in exploration and processing can sustain the market today and in the future. Atlas Copco Gas and Process is revolutionising the processing and shipping side of the business.
What innovations has Atlas Copco Gas and Process contributed to boost efficiency, productivity and sustainability for customers?
We’ve enhanced the use of integrally geared technology, and we have extensive knowledge of rotor dynamics as well as machine design. We’ve also brought standardised solutions to the market; these solutions reduce CAPEX and OPEX. There are several technologies available to process gas, including rotating machinery, which is what we deal with. These machines are driven by gas turbine or electric motor positive displacement, or by centrifugal technology. We offer centrifugal, which is good anywhere from 1.5 to 35 MW — the sweet spot for the integrally geared technology used to process and transport gas. This reliable, cost-competitive solution reduces CAPEX, offers increased efficiency, requires less maintenance, is readily available and makes the market more sustainable.