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Raw Talent

7 December 2010

Costain Energy & Process has been shortlisted for three prestigious industry awards in recent weeks for its innovative solution for the removal of nitrogen from natural gas, and has been highly commended for its nomination.

Nitrogen is frequently found as an inert component of raw natural gas. Its presence leads to poor fuel combustion, especially if present in high concentrations.  On a commercial scale, cryogenic distillation is recognised as the only cost effective technology for the removal of nitrogen, with a typical facility generating revenue of approximately £250 million per annum of gas which could otherwise not be sold into a pipeline system. Costain's proprietary cryogenic distillation process offers a 5% reduction in power consumption over conventional methods, a significant saving in cost and carbon emissions over the lifetime of the plant. The process also reduces capital, maintenance and operating costs.

The solution was shortlisted for both the Energy award and the Core Chemical Engineering award in the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) annual awards, and the Energy Institute's Innovation award.

The IChemE award ceremony, which was attended by chemical engineering professionals from a wide selection of major companies and academic institutions, saw shortlisted entries from a diverse range of applicants from Shell and Scottish Power to universities in the UK and across the globe. Costain's nitrogen rejection solution was judged to be the runner up in the Core Chemical Engineering category and awarded the Highly Commended certificate.

IChemE CEO, David Brown, said: "Being shortlisted in the IChemE awards really does demonstrate work of the highest standard and there are plenty of shortlisted entries from previous years that have used their success at the IChemE awards as a springboard to greater things."

Costain's Hydrocarbons & Chemicals Sector Director, Frank Millar, said of the Highly Commended award: "Costain has a proud history in this advanced process engineering application and we welcome this award, and the recognition of our continued efforts to improve the efficiency and environmental characteristics of the nitrogen rejection process."