Caterpillar Tianjin Limited to ship first G3516C generator set optimized to burn lean coalmine methane

Caterpillar Energy Solutions is pleased to announce the first natural gas-powered generator sets produced at the company’s plant in Tianjin, China are being prepared for delivery.

Caterpillar Tianjin Ltd (CTL), which began producing generator sets for power market customers in early 2014, will become the group’s second global center for gas-powered generator set production with the first being in Lafayette, IN, USA.

The Cat® G3516C has been optimized to run on lean coalmine methane (LCMM) for local mining applications. “Having the ability to manufacture the LCMM generator sets regionally in China will provide significant benefits to our local market,” said Peter Lau, sales manager of the Asia Pacific Region for Caterpillar Energy Solutions. “For the customer, the start of dedicated production from Tianjin will simply mean shorter lead and delivery times, enhanced product support, and optimized cost efficiencies.”

For years Chinese mining companies have utilized coal mine methane (CMM) to produce power generation for their mine sites. CMM is a byproduct of coal formations in subterranean coal seams and is released before or during active coal mining. CMM can be hazardous to miners if not properly managed. Typically, this means venting the CMM into the atmosphere or burning it in a flare. However, methane is a greenhouse gas with more than 20
times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide, so its release into the atmosphere is considered harmful. By capturing the previously vented methane gas and converting it into electricity, the Cat generator sets significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also improving the capacity of the local power grid.

“When local mining sites first began using CMM to generate power, the concentration of the methane was around 55 percent,” said Lau. “However, in some applications, the methane is diluted to a much lower concentration. When methane concentration is high it’s easy to burn as fuel in an engine when it gets down to the 12 to 16 percent, it becomes classified as Lean Coalmine Methane gas (LCMM) which requires engine adjustments and additional fuels to properly burn. The G3516C generator, now sourced locally at our world-class Tianjin facility, has been optimized to burn LCMM, saving our customers from the additional adjustments that had to be made in the past.”

As Caterpillar’s second manufacturing base dedicated to 3500 large engine and generator sets for electric power, oil & gas, and marine applications, Tianjin is expected to optimize the group’s delivery capability for the global market, according to Gordon Wang, Caterpillar regional product manager. “Production of the first G3516C generator sets for electric power applications has followed Caterpillar’s stringent and coordinated approach at
every level to ensure product excellence and reliability,” he said. “Our meticulous approach has also focused on verifying the levels of excellence for technical services and logistics on which Caterpillar’s reputation rests.

The 100% Caterpillar-owned CTL facility is the result of a US$300 million investment by Caterpillar, with mainstream Caterpillar engine production for Electric Power and the Oil & Gas segment having commenced at Tianjin in March 2015.

CTL is fully ISO: 9001 certified. From the outset, Caterpillar had embedded its world-class quality processes to ensure there are no material differences in engines assembled across the two sites, Mr. Wang added, positioning the company to respond to future growth in the Asia Pacific region. “Regardless of where our engines are assembled, Caterpillar is committed to providing its customers with what they want. Namely, high reliability, low owning and operating costs from their engines and generator sets, and superior product support,” stressed Lau.

Caterpillar is leading the power generation provider with market leading power systems engineered to deliver unmatched flexibility, expandability, reliability and cost-effectiveness. With parts and service available globally, Caterpillar offers worldwide product support through its comprehensive service and dealer network, where technicians are trained to service every aspect of the equipment.

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