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Site Visits


For decades EFI members have enjoyed access to a wide range of technical facilities around the world in visits to sites representing significant energy technology developments.  Sites visited typically represent innovative, first-of-a-kind pilot or demo plants at the forefront of developments related to downstream conversion technologies, processes, fuels and products often involving the production and use of syngas, the conversion of fossil and renewable feedstocks to liquid fuels and chemicals, the monetization of unconventional resources, the mitigation, capture and use of carbon, and research and development leading to commercial deployment of new technologies.


Site visits take advantage of EFI's extensive international network of energy technology, strategy, and scenario planning experts, their work in the vanguard of energy technology, and their interest in a level of open dialogue, access and insight not often available within their own companies or through commercial conferences.


By Invitation


Previous Site Visits


A small selection of recent EFI member site visits



Small-Scale Gas-to-Liquids Scale Up

INFRA Technology Mark 100 GTL Plant


October 2016


A guided visit to INFRA Technology's new 100 bpd GTL pilot plant located just outside Houston provided delegates with a look at the company's small-scale technology for the production of synthetic oil and motor fuels directly from a Fischer-Tropsch reactor without the wax stage. The process features INFRA Technology's own catalyst and patented F-T fixed-bed reactor design.



Flare Reduction & Monetization in the Field
Pioneer Energy, Ward Petroleum


June 2016

A guided tour of a Ward Petroleum well pad in Colorado to see two recently deployed Flarecatcher mobile gas processing plants in operation in the field.


Pioneer's Flarecatcher is a flare gas recovery system that can separate natural gas liquids from associated gas at the well, producing a dry methane stream available for onsite power generation or for conversion to CNG. The system comprises four unit operations (compression, dehydration, refrigeration, and separation) in one 40 foot single-axle trailer.



Flare Gas Capture and Utilization in the Bakken 
GE Oil & Gas, Ferus NGF, Statoil 
Bakken Formation, North Dakota


A comprehensive look at new technology deployment addressing both flare reduction and stranded gas monetization made available to delegates at EFI's Gas Flare Reduction and Monetization Forum done in collaboration with the World Bank's Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GGFR) partnership.


Guided tours of two facilities associated with GE and Ferus Natural Gas Fuels' (Ferus NGF) Last Mile Fueling Solution pilot project in the Bakken, being done in collaboration with Statoil.  The visits included firsthand looks at gas capture from production facilities, NGL stripping, compression, filling of tube trailers, transportation, storage, and end-use consumption in the field as fuel.




Flare Gas Capture and Monetization
Pioneer Energy

Lakewood, Colorado


A visit to Pioneer Energy's recently opened Flarecatcher production facility near Denver offered a look at Flarecatcher units under construction and the remote operations center where units currently deployed in the Bakken are being controlled and monitored.


Pioneer's Flarecatcher is a flare gas recovery system that can separate natural gas liquids from associated gas at the well, producing a dry methane stream available for onsite power generation or for conversion to CNG.  The system comprises four unit operations (compression, dehydration, refrigeration, and separation) in one 40 foot single-axle trailer.





Shale Gas Production and Transmission in the Marcellus Basin

Marcellus Basin, Pennsylvania



A series of briefings and guided tours of a WPX Energy natural gas well site and associated facilities covering the technologies deployed and challenges faced in the production, compression, metering, and transmission of natural gas in the Marcellus Basin.


Well head, production unit and compressor station design, along with sale point and metering station where the gas enters the interstate pipeline system were all covered, in addition to reclamation of the site.




Gas-to-Products Applications R&D

Braskem Techology & Innovation Center

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania



A briefing and guided tour for EFI members was arranged to Braskem's Technology & Innovation Center where Braskem - the largest petrochemical company in Latin America and the fifth largest in the world - develops innovative solutions and improves processes, technologies and existing products.


Braskem has announced plans for the construction of an integrated petrochemical hub – the Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise (ASCENT) – in a nearby area of the Marcellus and Utica shale, and the Center provides Braskem’s clients extensive compounding and pilot line application equipment, an analytical lab enabling examination of performance requirements at the molecular level, and a catalyst lab and where experimental polymers can be physically produced for evaluation.


Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, 2009
EFI visit to Institute of Coal Chemistry



Beijing Research Institute of Coal Chemistry (BRICC) 



Delegates had an opportunity to participate in a briefing and guided tour of the Beijing Research Institute of Coal Chemistry (BRICC), a branch of the China Coal Research Institute and sponsor of the IEA's Clean Coal Centre. The BRICC has been at the center of some of the most significant research and development of coal liquefaction, coal gasification, chemical synthesis, and emission controls in China, with technologies developed there now in use or being scaled up in projects throughout the country.




CompactGTL Pilot Plant

Redcar, England



The forum program included a briefing and guided visit through EFI member CompactGTL's pilot plant in Wilton, Teeside.  The facility, commissioned in 2008 and incorporating the company's proprietary SMR and F-T technology, demonstrates CompactGTL's integrated process operating under commercial conditions. 


The site had recently begun to serve as a training facility for customer operative training, and was used to train Petrobras employees as part of the commercial demonstration plant project.  The site visit included an overnight stay and dinner at nearby Guisborough Hall.






National Ignition Facility

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Sandia National Laboratory

Livermore, California



A series of briefings and tours of facilities at both the Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) that covered the following:



National Ignition Facility

-  Laser-Inertial Fusion Energy
Terrascale Simulation Facility
-  Carbon Capture and Sequestration
-  Smart Grid and Energy Systems Modeling
-  High Performance Computing and Energy
-  Corrosion Resistant Metals


Combustion Research Facility

-  HCCI Engines

-  Biofuels Combustion

-  Computational Engine Design
-  Hydrogen Storage
-  Electromechanical Batteries






GreatPoint Energy Mayflower Clean Energy Center

Somerset, Massachusetts



The forum program concluded with a briefing and guided visit through GreatPoint Energy's Mayflower Clean Energy Center in Somerset, Massachusetts. 


The company's new $40 million facility, commissioned in March 2009, is a one-of-a-kind center for feedstock demonstration and technology optimization for the company's single-stage direct gasification process.  The "green energy bluegas™" technology uses catalytic hydromethanation to create refinery grade hydrogen and pipeline ready SNG from low-cost feedstocks such as coal, petroleum coke and biomass.






National Renewable Energy Laboratory

National Bioenergy Center Pilot Plants

Golden, Colorado



The forum program included two site visits, the first to EFI member the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the only U.S. federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The series of visits organized by NREL especially for EFI members comprised briefings and tours of the National Bioenergy Center pilot plants and analytical facilities, including:

1 ton/day Biochemical Process Development Unit (PDU)
Biochemical Pilot Plant
½ ton per day Thermochemical PDU
Generator Test Cell
Surface Characterization Laboratories (TEM, SEM, etc...)
Catalyst Laboratory
Catalytic Synthesis Unit
Field Test Laboratory
Alternative Fuel Users Facility

Eltron Research & Development


The second visit, to EFI member Eltron Research & Development, included a guided visit through the extensive and innovative research and development facilities operated by the company, some of it unique in the industry, including areas for work on biofuels synthesis, fuel reforming, and gasification; hydrogen separation membranes; catalysis design, synthesis, evaluation and scale-up; advanced materials, ceramics, coatings and chemical energy storage; electrochemical metholdologies, high temperature processes, and water treatment.





Nuon IGCC Plant

Buggenum, The Netherlands


World's first commercial IGCC power plant


EFI members were given a guided tour of the Willem-Alexander power station in Buggenum, the world's first commercial integrated coal gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant.  The plant uses EFI member Shell's coal gasification technology, and originally began operation as a demonstration facility in 1993.  In 2002 the plant began operating with local coal fired with up to 30% biomass to comply with Dutch renewable energy incentives.  The facility was also the location of a pre-combustion carbon dioxide capture and storage project.






Statoil Snøhvit LNG

Melkøya Island, Hammerfest, Norway


World's first LNG plant with CO2 capture and storage
World's northernmost LNG plant

World's longest unprocessed multiphase pipeline

Europe's first LNG production plant


The last of three site visits that week, EFI members were given a extensive tour of EFI member Statoil's Snøhvit LNG project, nearing completion at the time.  Snøhvit is Europe's first LNG export facility, the world's northernmost LNG plant, and represents the first offshore development in the Barents Sea.  The gas production system is one of the first in Europe to use a subsea production platform, which feeds gas via 143 km of pipeline from gas fields in the Barents Sea.  Carbon dioxide is removed from the gas stream and piped back to the field for injection into an offshore deep saline formation through a dedicated well.







Mossgas Mossel Bay Refinery

Mossel Bay, South Africa 


World's first GTL refinery

Only site with 3 GTL technologies (HTFT, LTFT, & COD) in operation


Mossgas (now PetroSA) hosted EFI members on a visit to the company's Mossel Bay Refinery, the world's first gas-to-liquids (GTL) refinery and the only site in the world where three GTL technologies (High Temperature Fischer-Tropsch; Low Temperature Fischer-Tropsch; and Conversion of Olefins to Distillates) are in operation. The plant began operation in 1992 and remained the largest in the world for a further fifteen years.  The plant converts natural gas into high quality synthetic fuels and high value products, including gasoline, kerosene, diesel, propane, liquid oxygen and nitrogen, distillates, process oils and alcohols. 




Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis Plant

Bintulu Sarawak, Malaysia


World's first commercial GTL plant


EFI members were given an extensive briefing and tour of EFI member Shell's Middle Distillate Synthesis (SMDS) Plant, the world's first commercial gas-to-liquid (GTL) plant.  The plant began operation in 1993, and converts natural gas into high quality synthetic oil products and specialty chemicals. Some 100 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas are converted into 470,000 TPA of middle distillates (gasoil, kerosene, naphtha) and specialty products (detergent feedstocks, solvent feedstocks, various grades of waxes).

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