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Investment focuses on efficient turbine technology

21st February 2013


Page 1 of 7

Investment in higher-efficiency turbines is growing as power generators seek to increase plant profitability. Sean Ottewell reports.

GE has received a contract for nearly US$200m (EUR155m) to supply steam turbine technology, power generation services and distributed control systems for the conversion of Saudi Electricity Company's (SEC) PP10 power plant from simple to combined-cycle operation.

The project will add 1300MW to the plant's capacity in order to support the growing power requirements of Saudi Arabia's central region and help the Kingdom meet summer peak demands.

"The conversion to combined-cycle operation is part of our growth plan to add an average of 4000MW of power each year, with a vision of doubling the grid capacity by the year 2020," said Ali Saleh Al Barrak, president and ceo for SEC. "In addition to increasing plant capacity by more than 50 per cent, from about 2200 to 3500MW, the conversion will raise overall plant efficiency," he added.

GE is to provide ten of its SC series steam turbines specifically for the PP10 combined cycle expansion. The company previously supplied 40 7EA gas turbines for the PP10 site. A combined-cycle conversion enables the plant to increase its output without any increase in fuel, boosting its operating efficiency.

In addition to the SC series steam turbines, GE will supply new balance-of-plant mechanical and electrical equipment. An existing simple cycle Mark Vle integrated control system (ICS) will be expanded to incorporate the entire combined-cycle plant.

GE power generation services will include installation, testing, commissioning and completing the combined-cycle conversion.

Shipment of the equipment is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013, with services to start in the second quarter of that year. The first two combined-cycle blocks at PP10 are scheduled to begin commercial operation in the second quarter of 2014, in time to meet summer peak demands, while the full combined-cycle plant will be on line by the first quarter of 2015.

The Riyadh PP10 site recently entered commercial operation in simple cycle mode and is adding about 2000MW to Saudi Arabia's grid to support the country's electricity demand and increase the power capacity in SEC's central operation area by 20 per cent.

Building on a successful 40-year old relationship, GE's on-time delivery of the Frame 7EA gas turbines for the Riyadh PP10 site enabled SEC to provide reliable electricity for the Riyadh Central grid. GE's Mark VIe ICS installed at PP10 is improving overall plant reliability and will deliver operational and maintenance efficiency over the generating life of the power plant. The Riyadh PP10 site is currently the biggest installation worldwide for GE's Mark VIe ICS.

GE is expanding its energy presence in Saudi Arabia through knowledge-sharing initiatives and increased investments for technology centre that provide service repair support and customer training in the power, water and oil and gas sectors.

For example, the company recently inaugurated its newest technology centre in Dammam, the GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Centre. The US$250m (EUR194m) facility consists of three main components - an advanced service technology centre, a training centre offering the latest in technical and managerial courses, and as a high technology manufacturing hub for energy equipment dedicated to the entire energy value chain.

GE currently supports the generation of half the Kingdom's electricity with over 500 GE turbines installed at various sites around Saudi Arabia.

Russian compliance

Rolls-Royce has been awarded a contract to supply two industrial Trent 60 gas turbines to power LUKOIL's Stavrolen power plant in Budennovsk, Russia.

The contract was awarded by Russian contracting company Synergetic Projects, general contractor of the Stavrolen power plant.

Each Trent 60 unit will produce 58.5MW of power. Exhaust heat from the engines will be recovered to drive a separate steam turbine, providing additional power to the Russian electrical grid and high-pressure steam to support industrial processes at the Stavrolen polyethylene plant. Each Trent 60 unit will feature Rolls-Royce low emissions technology to minimise environmental impact (Fig. 1).

This latest announcement follows a contract awarded in 2011 to supply LUKOIL with five Rolls-Royce Bergen diesel engines, each producing 5.2MW to provide power for pumping, refining and related services at the LUKOIL diamond mine in the Arkhangelsk region of Russia.

Meanwhile two other Trent 60 gas turbines have successfully entered service at the new EDF Luminus power plant located at Angleur in the city of Liège, Belgium.

The gas turbines, each capable of producing 64MW of power, can achieve fast start-up in just nine minutes, helping EDF Luminus deliver continuity of electricity supply to households and businesses in Liège during peak demand periods.

The Rolls-Royce Trent 60 units can operate on either liquid or gas fuel and each feature wet low emissions and advanced inlet spray inter-cooling technologies to reduce emissions and ensure that maximum power output is maintained over a wide range of temperatures.

Bavarian biomass

Dresser-Rand is to provide Max Bögl Group with an indirectly fired KG 2-3 G gas turbine for use at the company's new biomass cogeneration plant in Bavaria, Germany.

Heat from the biomass cogeneration plant will be used to produce five tonnes of saturated steam which, in turn, will be used to produce concrete for pre-fabricated components and for electricity conversion. A significant part of the clean, hot air from the turbine cycle will also be used in the asphalt production process and grinding plant.

Chips made from untreated wood, which will come from local agriculture and foresting farms or short rotation forestry, will be used as a carbon dioxide-neutral fuel.

Gas turbine hits efficiency highs

With an efficiency level of more than 60 per cent in the combined-cycle operation, Siemens says that its SGT-8000H Series is the world's most efficient gas turbine.

Tested in actual operation at the Ulrich Hartmann power plant near Irsching, Bavaria, the SGT5-8000H - Siemens' solution for the 50 Hz Class - has already accumulated more than 8000 equivalent operating hours and more than 200 starts, during gas turbine field testing and combined-cycle commissioning.

The rated output for SGT5-8000H under ISO conditions is 375MW in simple-cycle and 570MW in combined-cycle operation. Compared to state-of-the-art advanced combined cycle power plants, this new gas turbine contributes to reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 43,000 tonnes. That is equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of more than 10,000 mid-size cars traveling 20,000km/y. With a hot plant start-up time of only about 40 minutes, it will maximise the operator's efficiency, performance, and flexibility.

This performance has already won the innovation prize for climate and environment which is awarded by Germany's Ministry of the Environment. For the world's most efficient gas turbine, Siemens Energy was placed first in the 'Green products and services' category.

Crossing the Atlantic for new destinations, the SGT-8000H technology is available for both 50 Hz and 60 Hz applications. Florida Power & Light (FPL) has already selected Siemens' next generation H-Class turbine technology for two plant modernisation projects in Florida. The modernised plants will become Florida's cleanest: with more than 60 per cent efficiency, previous emission levels will be halved and costs cut significantly.

"By implementing Siemens modern H-Class turbines, our customers will realise a 5-8 per cent higher return on investment compared to state-of-the-art F-Class engines," says the company.


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