The paper reviews the technical developments and changes in philosophy currently underway in British Gas to improve the utilisation of existing and future gas compressor plants. These developments have two main objectives, first to improve the operation of all plants, with corresponding reductions in operating costs, and second to reduce capital investment in future plants by good design and accurate planning. The paper considers in some detail machinery selection including the possibility of a short-term peak operation of plant and the use of waste heat recovery schemes. Improvements in machinery operating efficiency are also reviewed with particular emphasis on performance testing, computer based health monitoring schemes and reliability investigations. The influence of the various technical developments in relation to the investment in new and standby plants is considered.

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