GENERAL ELECTRIC will supply its Waukesha VHP gas engines to China’s leading drill rig manufacturer Honghua Group under a three-year agreement signed in May.

The agreement, signed by GE Power & Water’s Distributed Power business, will see the engines used to power drill rigs used in new shale projects in China.

The Waukesha gas engines will be fuelled by on-site field gas or with commercial grade gas to generate between 2.8 and 3 megawatts of on-site power.

By using this field gas, drill rig operators will be able reduce their fuel transportation costs and optimise the availability of the rigs, GE said.

With Waukesha gas-powered engines, users have the option to run almost any gaseous fuel from between 950 and 2600 British Thermal Units. That includes everything from hot field gases, commercial grade gas, LNG, CNG and up to HD-5 propane.

GE started shipping the Waukesha units to China in May, with the first pilot rig scheduled to begin operation in September 2014.

Honghua Group president Zhang Mi said Waukesha gas engines would be a more cost effective on-site power solution for its drill rig clients.

Chief commercial officer of GE’s Distributed Power business Darryl Wilson said the deal would strengthen its position as a gas engine supplier for drill rigs in Asia.