Clearing the Air

Working closely with the Southern Ute Tribe to increase plant efficiency, reduce plant over-capacity and extend a right-of-way agreement, Williams embarked on a multi-year project to upgrade equipment at the Ignacio Gas Plant. The Ignacio facility, located southeast of Durango, Colorado, provides compression, dehydration, and natural gas liquids recovery as part of the company’s San Juan Gathering System.

For our work to increase the reliability of compression while reducing air pollutant emissions at Ignacio, Williams was recognized by the Southern Gas Association with its 2014 Environmental Excellence Award in the Technology/Conservation category. The award saluted Williams for “removing existing compression equipment from service, some installed in the 1950s, which operated using older combustion technologies. In its place, Williams installed turbine-driven compressors equipped with low emissions technology. Along with increased reliability, the project reduced plant NOx, CO, VOC, and PM (criteria) emissions by an estimated 2,480 tons per year while reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.” Williams’ GHG reporting records show a reduction of GHG emissions of approximately 125,844 tons per year CO2 equivalent as a direct result of the equipment upgrade project at Ignacio. Virtually all of these GHG emissions reductions were due to methane emissions reductions (5,123 tons) achieved by the installation of lower emitting dry seal compressors.

A summary of the emissions reductions achieved by the upgrades at the Ignacio Plant are presented below. Significant reduction in emissions, including greenhouse gases, have been realized.

  • Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions reduced 88 percent
  • Carbon oxides (CO) emissions reduced 48 percent
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions reduced 82 percent
  • Particular matter (PM) emissions reduced 59 percent
  • Methane (CH4) emissions reduced 88 percent
  • Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) reduced 32 percent

Additionally, Williams was recognized as a 2014 Green Business Roundtable Finalist Company by the San Juan Citizens Alliance.