Improving efficiency and cutting emissions with gas turbine technologies

Paul Boughton

Operating companies are turning to advanced gas turbine technologies to boost efficiency and meet emissions regulations. Sean Ottewell reports.

GE is shipping two Frame 6B gas turbines for one of the largest cogeneration facilities in Portugal, Galp Energia's Matosinhos cogeneration plant near Porto.

Replacing older oil-fired technology at the site, the gas turbines will increase the plant's efficiency and reduce its environmental impact in line with the Portuguese government's regulation to promote efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions (Fig.1). Approved in January 2010 and in support of the European Union cogeneration directive, a new Portuguese law will regulate cogeneration on a national level.

The Frame 6B gas turbines are expected to provide all of the steam requirements for the nearby Galp Energia's Matosinhos refinery and also will enable Galp Energia to produce electricity and sell it to Portugal's national grid. The Matosinhos cogeneration turnkey project is being developed for Galp Energia by the consortium Ensulmeci-Efacec Cogeraçao do Porto, ACE, formed by two of the major Portuguese engineering, procurement and construction companies.

"The modernisation of our refineries with GE Frame 6B gas turbines supports the growing interest in Portugal to implement cogeneration as a more efficient, cleaner way to produce electricity and meet our process steam needs," said Ricardo Manzoni of Galp Energia. "The use of 6B technology at the Matosinhos plant will enable us to avoid emissions of over 400000 tons of carbon dioxide per year."

The new gas turbines are the third and fourth GE 6B gas turbines selected by Galp Energia to modernise power and steam production for its refineries in Portugal. The first two 6B machines recently entered commercial operation at a cogeneration plant that supports the Sines petrochemical industrial park. Both the Sines and Matosinhos cogeneration plants have power capacities of 80 megawatts.

GE's scope of supply for the Matosinhos project also includes gas turbine auxiliary equipment, technical advisory and training services, during construction and commissioning. A contractual service agreement also has been signed, providing for ongoing maintenance of the GE gas turbines.

Dresser-Rand has also been with, recently announcing that it will supply advanced turbomachinery to three different clients for four floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels, three of which are destined for Petrobras' pre-salt oil fields in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil and one for the UK sector of the North Sea.

The company will supply 14 centrifugal compressor trains comprising eighteen casings, two DR-61G (LM2500) mechanical drive gas turbines and four DR-61GP (LM2500+) gas turbine generator sets for these projects. The total price for the scope being supplied exceeds US$120 million.

The compressor trains will be manufactured in Le Havre, France and Olean, New York; the gas turbine generator sets will be engineered by Dresser-Rand's Kongsberg gas turbine packaging center of excellence. Dresser-Rand booked these orders in March 2010.

"We are very pleased that we have been selected to supply the critical rotating equipment for these important projects. Leveraging our global presence and world-class singular processes, our teams in Houston, Le Havre, Kongsberg and Kuala Lumpur worked closely with our clients' teams on selecting the best technology to meet application requirements and offer single-source solutions for compression and power generation," said Jesus Pacheco, Dresser-Rand's executive vice president, New Equipment Worldwide.

Among the equipment being supplied will be some of the highest density re-injection compressors ever built, such as the 550 bar units to compress a 35+ mole weight natural gas/carbon dioxide blended stream, as well as carbon dioxide compressors to re-inject carbon dioxide to over 300 bar (4350 psi) pressure. These vessels will be capable of handling oil production and treatment of approximately 100 000-120 000 barrels per day and have gas compression capabilities of up to 150 million standard cubic feet per day.

Dresser-Rand has also just opened its new Gas Engine Technology Centre (GETC) in Colorade. The new centre focuses on technologies for reducing emissions and improving automation and reliability among reciprocating engines used in natural gas production and transmission.

Administered by the company's Enginuity business unit, the GETC comprises an engineering and development staff, catalyst management and support facility, aftermarket support operation, and expanded warehouse capacity.

"The world is waking up to the fact," said Chad Fletcher, general manager, "that reducing emissions such as hazardous air pollutants and greenhouse gas, as well as improving efficiency of machinery and equipment, are simply the right things to do."

Dresser-Rand not only addresses such issues with its controls, automation equipment, and aftermarket services, but also with the design and construction of its new facility. Low volatile organic compound carpeting, energy-saving lighting, and use of recycled materials throughout the centre exceed local and national standards.

The company currently operates manufacturing facilities in the United States, France, UK, Germany, Norway, India, and China, and maintains a network of 35 service and support centres covering more than 140 countries.

Another major supplier, Alstom, has signed a contract worth approximately EUR20 million with GS Power Co. Ltd to upgrade two gas turbines at the Anyang gas-fired combined-cycle power plant located on the outskirts of Seoul, South Korea.

This follows a contract signed in February 2009 to upgrade the first two gas turbines. The contracts form part of a frame agreement signed in February 2009 for the upgrade of all four of the plant's gas turbines and the supply of one set of spare parts, with work scheduled to begin in April 2010 and the upgrades scheduled for completion in 2011.

The scope of the project includes the upgrade of each GT11N type gas turbine to GT11NM XP (extended power), associated auxiliary services and spare parts, including new turbine blades and vanes, heat shield segments, vane carrier, and exhaust gas housing, leading to an increase in efficiency and in power output of more than 10 per cent without increased emissions.

The Alstom-built Anyang combined-cycle power plant has been in commercial operation since 1992. With four GT11N gas turbines and one steam turbine, the plant currently has an overall capacity of 478 MW. A portion of the generated process steam is also used for district heating.

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