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GE Sees ‘Huge’ Potential for Pipeline-Efficiency Technology

General Electric Co. expects “huge” growth in the coming years in the market for supplying El Paso Corp., TransCanada Corp. and their pipeline rivals with technology to reduce emissions and move fossil fuels using less energy, the head of the company’s oil and gas solutions unit said.

“The market is potentially huge,”, said Paulo Ruggeri, who heads GE’s Oil & Gas Solutions division, in an interview in Calgary. General Electric, which is based in Fairfield, Connecticut, is talking to pipeline operators in North America about supplying them with equipment, he said, without providing names.

Ruggeri’s division is part of GE’s energy infrastructure unit. Within 10 years, GE is targeting annual sales of $100 billion from the unit, which provides equipment involved in the production of more than a quarter of the world’s power. The company expects profit growth of 10 percent next year at the energy business.

GE and partner Alliance Pipeline Ltd. have developed a system that captures waste heat from engines used to compress natural gas and turn it into electricity. The technology will boost the overall efficiency of the pipeline by as much as 25 percent, while GE also has equipment that extracts heavy, polluting components of gas before it’s burned in furnaces and other applications, Ruggeri said.

Alliance Pipeline’s compressor system will supply 14,000 homes in Alberta with electricity generated from waste heat, said Chief Executive Murray Birch in an interview. The Calgary-based company aims to use GE’s technology along the entire route of its gas pipeline that stretches from northern British Columbia to Chicago and eastern Canada, he said.

“We all want to have a clean energy future, but we don’t have the technology right now to replace fossil fuels,” said Birch.

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