Customer: Southern Pines

Location: Leakesville, MS

Customer Business Issue: Fuel efficiency, low maintenance

Solution: Six block-mounted Cat® G16CM34 engines with Ariel KBV Reciprocating Compressors

Cat Dealer: Louisiana Machinery


Southern Pines, located in Leakesville, MS, is a natural gas storage facility pioneering the Solution Mining Under Gas (SMUG) technique. As a peak service facility, it responds to high load potential over seasonal, daily, or monthly intervals.

Their unique reservoir storage model enables them to move high loads of gas quickly. The salt cavern formations at Southern Pines form a hub to deliver gas to several pipelines, pull from several production areas, and deliver to several markets. Southern Pines relies on six G16CM34 engines to keep their operations up and running.

Why Cat® GCM34?

The Cat G16CM34 is a natural fit for this type of storage facility – the right size, high deliverability, quick response, and it handles a wide range of operational flow. Southern Pines selected the G16CM34 because Caterpillar is very responsive to the natural gas storage industry and works to develop products to fit specific needs.

“As plant manager, I expect Caterpillar to supply a reliable and low maintenance product and we have found that. This engine is designed on those performance measures, plus air quality and mechanical efficiency.”
Scott Hicks

How Does Southern Pines Use the G16CM34?

Southern Pines uses compression for gas injection and withdrawal, as well as moving gas from pipeline to pipeline in a hub concept. The engine and compressor respond to a large range of speed and load. Intermittent operation is routine so this is not like a classic pipeline installation. Quick response is needed but not all the machines are required at all times. SP is seasonally based. The GCM34 has operational flexibility – the current production engine can be started and loaded to 100 percent in less than four minutes; it can be operated from 750 to 450 rpm and from full rated torque to 50 percent of rated torque at ambient temperatures up to 100°F, simplifying gas flow control.

Flexibility of machine operation over a wide range – the amount of throughput, rpm, and pressure – is unique. This facility demands a higher class of storage because our customers have high expectations. We offer a premium service and we have to respond at a moment’s notice to have gas delivered to the pipeline. We respond quickly to weather conditions whether it’s a hurricane or freeze, ready to go from no operation to on-demand service.

“The G16CM34 is a new entrant to the market that is well supported and Caterpillar has responded well to the growth issues involved. It’s the right machine for the job.”
Jack Gatewood, Former VP of Construction and Development

What Is the Advantage of the GCM34?

Mechanical efficiency of 44 percent and fuel efficiency of 5759 btu/bhp-hr, combined with a wide operating range (40 percent turn down and full power to 100˚F), make the GCM34 engine an attractive and economical solution. This 8000 hp class engine is the “right-size fit” for multiple applications.

Efficiency & Reliability

Fuel efficiency is extremely important for meeting the fuel credit requirements in their customer contracts. From a fuel perspective, this aids in lower operating cost and allows for additional productivity. And the robust medium speed engine design coupled with outstanding Cat parts and service support provide +98 percent availability.

“It is very efficient. We haven’t had issues. We have been able to successfully perform and deliver for our customers.”
Scott Hicks, Plant Manager

Product and Dealer Support

Caterpillar supplies best-in-class support in the industry. The Oil and Gas commissioning team knows their product line. For operation and maintenance, Southern Pines is supported by the local Cat dealer, Louisiana Machinery.

Parts and service are very important to Southern Pines. Louisiana Machinery provides excellent technical support; the technicians are knowledgeable on product and readily available.

Caterpillar Financing

Cat Financial contributed to Southern Pines' success by providing credit throughout the development of the project. For 60 years, Cat Financial has powered the petroleum business on land – and now on the ocean. Count on Cat Financial to provide you with the resources you need.

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