Black & Veatch Corporation

Power Substation and a Gas-Fired Combustion Turbine and Heat Recovery Steam Generator


Courtesy of Black & Veatch Corporation

B&V Energy expands the world's largest nitrogen plant by constructing a cogeneration plant supplying the additional power needed to reach resources deep in Mexico's offshore oil field.

Metropolitan Mexico City has a population of approximately 20 million and is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, requiring an extraordinary amount of gas and oil to satisfy its growing energy needs.

Mexico relies heavily on the gas and oil extracted from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, and thus experiences extreme challenges securing resources. Difficulties in extracting these resources can generate ripple effects in the nation's economy, even forcing the government to look to foreign energy suppliers in times of need.

Much of the easily accessed gas and oil has been taken from the Gulf of Mexico. As some of the Gulf's gas and oil fields begin to deplete, the remaining resources become increasingly difficult to extract, and more power is subsequently needed.

Compañía de Nitrógeno de Cantarell, SA de CV, (CNC), owned jointly by BOC from the UK and Marubeni from Japan, engaged Black & Veatch to expand its $1 billion plant built in 1998 and supply the additional power needed to deliver an additional 300 MMSCFD of nitrogen to its customer PEMEX to maintain pressure in the Gulf of Mexico oil fields.

Black & Veatch constructed a cogeneration plant, including the installation of a combustion turbine generator, to provide additional power to separate nitrogen from the atmosphere and to deliver it to PEMEX for injection into the oil fields some 60 miles offshore.

As Black & Veatch initiated work to construct the combustion turbine facility, the team worked closely with the nearby communities of the Atasta Peninsula to ensure that the benefits of the expansion were shared at a local level.

By fostering relations with Mexican labor unions in the local economically depressed communities, Black & Veatch was able to secure a highly skilled workforce to support the demands of the project. In addition to generating high-paying jobs for local workers, Black & Veatch worked to ensure that many materials were also purchased locally. The investment made in the nearby coastal communities has helped to stimulate their economies. The result was Building a World of Difference in the area surrounding the Cantarell Nitrogen Plant and, more broadly, in Mexico.

The CNC combustion turbine project has generated unique challenges. Not only has the Black & Veatch team successfully delivered a highly complex engineering project into an operating plant, they also led the integration of diverse cultures into a unified team, working for and alongside CNC.

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