Rapidly increasing demand energy provides excellent growth opportunity

Rapidly increasing demand for energy provides excellent growth opportunity

9:16 AM, 28th October 2016
Arun Kumar Jain, Managing Director, Fluor Daniel India Pvt Ltd.
Arun Kumar Jain, Managing Director, Fluor Daniel India Pvt Ltd.

In an interview Arun Kumar Jain, Managing Director, Fluor Daniel India Pvt Ltd with Chemical Today magazine talks about the dynamic changes happening in the gas process and treatment industry globally and in India; and ways in which it will change the course of business in the future.

By Shivani Mody

What are the latest trends in gas processing & treatment market?

It is a dynamic segment and heavily dependent on global energy prices. Opportunities in gas processing will go up if crude prices are high. The scarcity of clean energy, fertiliser etc, in emerging economies, provides a huge opportunity for the gas market.

However, growth would be seen across the globe once the oil prices return to normal levels. There will be significant growth in emerging economies for clean energy, fertiliser production as well as meeting environmental emission norms.

Give us a sense of the key market drivers that will boost the growth of gas process & treatment industry?

A key market driver for the gas processing & treatment industry is global energy pricing. Economic activities across the globe, infrastructure development, discovery of new gas reserves, oil prices, access to oil sands and shale gas availability etc, have the potential to impact gas processing and associated activities.

Which sectors will see growth in the gas process & treatment industry in the coming years?

To understand the segment, we need to see opportunities for gas processing as separate from gas treatment. Across the globe, countries are going for stringent emission norms, which create a huge market for gas treatment and CO2 recovery.

The demand for petrochemicals is increasing steadily in India and the neighbouring countries. This would give a major boost to the gas processing & treatment industry, once the global economy stabilises. The refiners are finding ways to extract a dollar from the bottom of the barrel and are ready to invest in the downstream project through petrochemicals. Refiners are contemplating to treat coke for the production of high-value chemicals.

In what ways is Flour different from other companies in terms of product innovation?

Fluor has many firsts in its basket. The company was the first in the world to be working on technology to process coal seam gas to LNG. It was also the first to use disc stack centrifuges to separate water and sand from crude oil for an offshore project in China. Fluor is a technology neutral company and is, therefore, in a position to advise its clients on the technologies best suited for their projects. We have been working with all the major technology licensors and, therefore, have an inhouse database that is current and reliable.

Fluor has also developed its own technologies in certain niche areas such as:

• Fluor SolventSM Process which uses a dry propylene carbonate solvent to remove H2S and CO2 from gas streams.

• EconamineSM and Improved EconamineSM that uses diglycolamine as the aqueous solvent for H2S and CO2 removal from gas streams.

• EconosolvSM uses dimethylether of polyethylene glycol as a solvent for removal of contaminants such as H2S, CO2, COS, mercaptans, and others along with selective removal.

• Cryo-GasSM Process is a full suite of patented turbo-expander based processes for NGL recovery, including C2+, C3+, and switchable C2+/C3+ recovery processes. Propane recoveries up to 99.9% and ethane recoveries in excess of 90% are achievable.

Elaborate on your focus for R&D and innovation.

Fluor owns technologies in areas related to CO2 capture from flue gases and its sequestration, sulphur recovery, and ammonia recovery from sour water in refineries. Fluor, being an EPC company, naturally pursues innovation in execution. As an EPC player, Fluor sets up projects for clients across the globe. Being partners in project execution, Fluor’s focus is on R&D and innovation in areas related to project execution. A few examples are:

• We have developed modularization to the next level - our 3rd Gen Modularization programme enabling our clients to have the option to substantially reduce field work, improve quality, increase safety and shorten execution schedule. This is particularly useful for projects in remote locations, projects where land availability is limited, getting skilled workers at the site is a challenge or not cost effective, congested sites with limited laydown or fabrication space, or, in severe climatic conditions like Sakhalin Islands, North Sea, Fort McMurray in Canada etc.

• Key enhancements in the 3D PDS execution platform leading to the deployment of our NextGen execution platform to increase engineering execution efficiency.

What are the challenges faced by the industry currently?

Gas processing & treating business is very dynamic. New discoveries are posing different sets of challenges to the industry. We have all noticed the impact of shale gas on the gas processing industry and subsequently the impact of crude oil prices. However, these are cyclical in nature and challenges soon give way to opportunities. I would like to bring your attention the current focus on stringent emission standards. 

Most countries are treating global warming seriously and this provides multiple opportunities for flue gas treatment. Fluor India is committed to extending and apply its global knowledge to Indian refineries and power generation companies to control their emissions to meet the revised stringent environmental compliance norms.

Give us an overview of Fluor’s gas process & treatment business.

Fluor constructed the world’s first turbo-expander plant for natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction in 1962. Fluor continues to build on its position as a technology leader for the natural gas industry, with experience extending to more than 200 gas plants worldwide, assisting clients with a full range of expertise essential to maximising return on conventional, unconventional, and specialised gas assets. This expertise includes solutions for gas processing, treating, and NGL recovery, as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other technologies and strategies for monetization of remote or “stranded” gas.

Fluor’s extensive gas-related project experience includes:

• LNG Liquefaction and LNG Regasification Gas Treatment

• NGL Recovery and Fractionation

• Unconventional Gas Production

• CO2, Nitrogen, and Acid Gas Compression Systems for Sequestration, Enhanced Oil Recovery, and Reservoir Pressure Maintenance

• Gas Compression Systems for Transportation, Underground Storage, and Reservoir Pressure Maintenance

What is the future growth strategy for Fluor India?

Fluor India’s growth plans are significant. From less than 700 employees in 2009, today we are ~3,200 employees. We are working in a variety of sectors in the Indian market, especially chemicals, petrochemicals, LNG, gasification, power and the industrial sectors.

We are also expanding our services to cover other industry segments like infrastructure, mining & metals, waste water treatment and water solutions to name a few. While we focus on new projects coming up in these sectors, we will continue to apply objective criteria of selectivity.

The Asia Pacific region is also seeing a lot of pre-execution and execution activities. Besides China and India, several projects are on the anvil in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Fluor is pursuing some of these projects and has recently won projects in Indonesia and Malaysia. We are bullish on the growth in the Indian and Asia-Pacific markets and hope to contribute to economic growth of the region.

With over a trillion dollars of infrastructure investment planned in the next few years, we lay great store by the business opportunities in India, especially in the business segments of clean fuels, refineries, chemicals, petrochemicals and LNG re-gasification.

India needs radically more efficient and rigorous execution approaches towards infrastructure project execution. Fluor can help implement and share such best practices based upon transparency, safety, execution excellence and sustainability. We are enabling smaller Indian manufacturing companies to get new business in the international markets by providing them access to global clients through our structured global supplier pre-qualification programme.

What are the future expansion plans of Fluor India?

The demand for energy is increasing rapidly in India and its neighbouring countries. This provides an excellent opportunity for growth. However, since a majority of clients in this region are looking at low-cost solutions, without giving due credence to issues like HSE, quality, schedule and cost certainty, we have to be selective in our pursuits and limit ourselves to projects where we believe we have a fair and chance of winning. Fluor India is executing numerous projects for its global clients, both in traditional projects (like clean fuel projects) and niche technology projects (like gasification).

© Chemical Today Magazine

See the Interview Coverage in Chemical Today magazine (Pg 26)


View the interview on Mobile, download the Chemical Today magazine app





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