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Gas Power Generation Meets Growing Demand in the Middle East

Gas Power Generation Meets Growing Demand in the Middle East

| by Editor | Posted in Comment

Natural gas in the Middle East is often overshadowed by the region’s dominant energy source: oil. But demand for natural gas in the region has grown consistently as governments search for new ways to fulfill increasing energy and electricity demands while still meeting oil production and environmental targets.

The Middle East will be the second-largest gas consuming region by 2020, according to The 2017 World Energy Outlook report produced by the International Energy Agency. Beyond that, demand in the region is expected to grow by more than the entire gas demand of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) states by 2035.

“In resource-rich regions, such as the Middle East, the case for expanding gas use is relatively straightforward, especially when it can substitute for oil,” the International Energy Agency reports in its 2017 World Energy Outlook.

Natural gas is indeed a convenient replacement for oil as an energy resource in the area. The Middle East houses one of the world’s largest concentrations of natural gas, according to the Oil & Gas Journal. The global rate of natural gas production has increased by nearly 40 percent — from 2,410 bcm (billion cubic meters) to 3,369 bcm — since 2000. During the same period, production in the Middle East more than doubled from 207.5 bcm to 568.2 bcm — the largest growth rate of any region.

The development of natural gas-based power plants, generators and cogeneration (combined heat and power systems) projects are some of the most attractive solutions to meet this increasing demand. These projects have relatively lower carbon emissions, higher efficiency and shorter lead time to commission.

These benefits are creating a global appeal for gas generators particularly. The global gas generator market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 8 percent between 2017 and 2021, according to Technavio’s latest market research.

“Gas generators are expected to exhibit a steady growth rate due to the increase in demand for these generators from the burgeoning commercial and industrial sector,” said Gaurav Mohindru, a lead unit operations research expert from Technavio. “The demand from these sectors is mainly due to the use of these generators as auxiliary power units to operate equipment and machinery during power outages and thereby prevent revenue loss.” 

Gas generator sets open many options as Middle Eastern countries move toward a reduction in burning crude oil. These gas generators can run on the most abundant gas sources with flexible options, and they are suited to applications where onsite fuel storage is restricted, a continuous supply of natural gas is readily available or local environmental considerations lend preference to gas-powered equipment. This high-efficiency option can provide reliable electricity production throughout the region. 

The use of cogeneration systems are also on the rise in the area. Cogeneration systems use a heat engine or power station to generate electricity and useful heat at the same time. These gas-powered systems recapture and use any excess heat that would normally be considered waste. This excess heat is then reused within the power system or used to heat or cool buildings.

Cogeneration systems can reduce environmental impact and decrease energy costs by using natural gas to work with a facility’s existing conventional system. Using clean-burning natural gas to generate heat and power decreases emissions and using excess heat produced during power generation improves operating efficiency.

Not only can gas generator sets and cogeneration systems help the Middle East reach their energy demands, but it can also help the region meet environmental targets. Overall, natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel. When used to generate electricity, natural gas produces less carbon dioxide and air pollution than crude oil. It is an energy source that bridges the traditional way of life and the future of energy diversification in the area.

Plans to use gas rather than oil in regional domestic markets may also help Middle Eastern countries maintain oil exports in 2018 despite an anticipated extension of OPEC cuts, according to a new outlook from BMI Research. The recent OPEC production cut agreement, known as OPEC , centers on a decision to trim output by 1.8 million barrels per day compared with production levels as of November 2016. As countries decrease or maintain their production levels, the use of gas oil as a source of domestic energy frees crude oil, which was traditionally burned as a domestic fuel source, to be exported and sold.

The increased use of gas generator sets, cogeneration, and other natural gas electricity systems will continue to allow Middle Eastern countries to maintain oil exports, meet domestic energy demand and bridge the gap to a diversified energy future.

The big names and leading manufacturers of natural gas electricity systems, such as Sterling, Teksan and Wilson will be discussing their products gas generator sets and cogeneration at this year’s Middle East Electricity (MEE).

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MEE is the Middle East and Africa's annual meeting point for the industry with exhibition halls filled with experienced and knowledgeable experts in power generation, transmission & distribution, lighting, solar and energy storage and management solutions.

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