GLOBAL energy company, Shell, is rigorously developing cutting-edge technology to meet increasing challenges in the sector.
Shell Global Solutions, for one is developing innovations to promote efficient use and reduction of carbon emissions around the world.
While the emissions of greenhouse gases may not be totally eradicated but the worst impacts of climate change can be substantially reduced if their levels in the atmosphere can be stabilised at between 450 and 550ppm (parts per million) C02 equivalent.
The current level is 430ppm C02, and it is rising at more than 2ppm each year. Stabilisation at this range would require emissions to be at least 25 per cent below current levels by 2050, and more in the future.
Regional head of Carbon and Energy Management of Asia Pacific Shell Global Solutions, Dr Ir Oscar Piepers said in a recent paper that the group is pursuing several C02 mitigation and technology development activities to improve management of C02 emissions from its hydrocarbon businesses.
Activities include energy efficiency projects, potential large-scale C02 sequestration demonstration projects and alternative fuels.
The International Energy Agency has forecast energy demand to rise by 50 per cent over the first 30 years of this century and believes that most of this increase will be met by hydrocarbons.
The ability to manage C02 is therefore a vital for the future development and growth of businesses.
Piepers said Shell launched an initiative several years ago to improve the energy efficiencies of refineries and chemical plants.
The energy efficiency programme being undertaken at the liquefied natural gas plant in Malaysia is an example.
Malaysia LNG expects an overall LNG production increase of up to one per cent as a result of improvements made with minimal capital expenditure.
Shell Global Solutions' tailored energy-efficiency programme was originally designed for refineries; this was its first implementation at an LNG facility in Malaysia.
The programme can be used across a wide range of industries and is particularly appropriate for energy-intensive businesses.
The energy efficiency programme is helping Shell facilities and plants to cut energy consumption, reduce emissions and is being implemented by clients in the manufacturing and processing industries.
In 2004, the Deer Park chemical complex in Texas, US, reduced its energy consumption by 2.1 per cent to give annual savings of 90,000 tons of associated C02 emissions.
"Typically, we see most savings made in our energy efficiency programmes are through the effective application of successful practices, technology and economics. For example, capturing carbon dioxide means it can be stored (sequestered). This comes at a cost. However, there are novel ways you can recycle carbon dioxide," Piepers said.
For instance, the Shell Pernis refinery in The Netherlands is capturing part of the carbon dioxide it produces and provides it to a third party who then supplies it for horticultural use.
Shell is also developing a number of alternative energy sources, and is the largest distributor of bio-fuels and one of the biggest investors in wind energy, investing in new technology such as second generation biofuels, thin film solar and hydrogen.
Source : Business Times