More efficient, effective and flexible: McDermott on new industry technologies

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Jonathan Kennefick, Senior Vice President, Project Execution and Delivery, McDermott
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As the industry continues to evolve, gas and LNG developers are constantly looking for new, innovative solutions to allow their projects to thrive in this price-competitive market. As a fully integrated provider of technology, engineering and construction, McDermott offer solutions for the most complex projects.

Ahead of Gastech 2018, Gastech Insights spoke with Jonathan Kennefick, Senior Vice President, Project Execution and Delivery at McDermott to hear more about how EPC’s are evolving with the times.

Gastech Insights: How has McDermott evolved with the changing market dynamics to continuously deliver cost-effective and efficient projects?

Jonathan Kennefick: The oil market has fluctuated substantially over the 45-plus years since the first oil embargo, so this latest episode is not unprecedented. Each time, owners and contractors alike must adjust to the new realities. Typically this involves getting more efficient and more innovative. Over our history, we’ve been involved with a number of firsts in the industry as we seek to provide solutions for our customers. Today technology is helping us get more efficient and more effective, more flexible and more responsive. We see this in the offshore industry, but also in LNG, Refining, Petrochemicals and Power. Now McDermott offers a combined upstream-downstream business model, which we believe our customers will welcome. McDermott is also leading the way in Digital Twin solutions, which will significantly increase efficiency of project delivery and operations. As always, the key is to listen to the customer and solve their problems.  

Gastech Insights: This year McDermott’s NET Power project achieved first fire of its supercritical carbon dioxide demonstration power plant – can you tell us more about this project and the new innovative technology?

Jonathan Kennefick: The NET Power technology is a totally new power generation process using the Allam cycle, in which the process fluid is supercritical CO2. The benefit of this process is twofold. First, we do not have to expend energy separating the CO2 from other gases present in a conventional combustion process, mostly the nitrogen in the air. Second, the fluid on the low-pressure side of the turbine is still at a high pressure, so putting that CO2 into a pipeline for sale does not require expensive compression. So we eliminate two sources of inefficiency, thereby generating electric power at prices comparable with conventional combined cycle plants that do not recover the CO2 at all. The first fire is our first opportunity to test how well the theoretical process, on paper, translates to an actual working process in the field.

Gastech Insights: In your personal opinion, how will the gas and LNG market look in 2025?

Jonathan Kennefick: We believe the publicly available forecasts that indicate gas demand will grow faster than coal or oil well beyond 2025, and that LNG demand will grow faster than gas overall. Because LNG liquefaction plants take so long to authorize and build, we know today fairly accurately, what the supply side of the LNG industry will look like in 2025. On the demand side, a number of countries have indicated an interest in diversifying their energy supply sources to include LNG, so it’s clear that the LNG market will grow steadily, perhaps by one-third or more. Less clear are the new markets, such as rail and marine; it will be interesting to see what fraction of the total demand these two markets make up by the year 2025.  

Gastech Insights: With offshore construction vessels subject to possible uncertainty, how is the construction design changing to incorporate flexibility? 

Jonathan Kennefick: It’s not just market uncertainty that pushes increased flexibility into the design consideration for construction vessels. It’s the overall demand for more efficient and cost-effective installation that drives flexibility. If you can do with one vessel what might have taken two or three vessels before, the installation will be less expensive. Our Derrick Lay Vessel 2000 is a good example of a vessel capable of heavy lift installation of conventional platforms and topsides, and deepwater subsea equipment installation. With the addition of the Amazon, McDermott now has the in-house capability to lay all types of rigid and flexible pipelines in all water depths.

Gastech Insights: As a member of the Gastech Governing Body, what are you most looking forward to at Gastech 2018 in Barcelona?

Jonathan Kennefick: With our combination with CB&I, we’re excited to get the McDermott name out in a new venue. We’re also are looking forward to building relationships with customers that cross the Upstream-Downstream divide, to explore synergies and ways in which our new organization can help them accomplish their goals. 

If you would like to hear more from McDermott, register for your delegate pass for Gastech 2018 to hear CEO David Dickson speak on the CEO Panel: “How Can EPCs Deliver New Gas & LNG Projects in Low-Cost, Low-Margin Times?”

Image courtesy of McDermott