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GE To Install Its 100th Advanced Gas Path System At South Korea’s Largest Electric Utility To Improve Gas Turbine Performance By Nearly 5 Percent

Stocks in this article: GE

GE (NYSE: GE) has announced an agreement with Korea Southern Power Company, Ltd. (KOSPO) to upgrade two 7F gas turbines with its FlexEfficiency* Advantage Advanced Gas Path (AGP) solution, marking the 100 th system sold to date. AGP technology delivers industry-leading gas path upgrade performance and operational flexibility by increasing gas turbine output, efficiency and availability. KOSPO, South Korea’s largest electric utility, is installing the technology on two units at its Pusan plant in Incheon to support the region’s population growth and economic expansion.

GE announced the project at this week’s POWER-GEN International 2012 trade conference in Orlando, Fla. AGP upgrade technology broadens the operating range of installed gas turbine assets with performance improvements including up to a 4.8 percent output increase and fuel efficiency improvement as much as 1 percent in combined-cycle operation. This solution also enables GE customers to benefit from the industry’s longest maintenance intervals of up to 32,000 hours or 900 starts, which can extend outage intervals by up to 33 percent. AGP design innovations also can help lower lifecycle maintenance costs by extending gas turbine asset and parts life out to as much as 96,000 hours.

“Celebrating this important benchmark with KOSPO is quite gratifying for the GE team, considering the key role this solution is playing to support South Korea’s growing demand for energy,” said Fintan Tuffy, general manager, fleet analytics and performance management, GE’s Power Generation Services business. “We are seeing strong momentum with customers around the globe in adopting AGP technology as they recognize how the flexibility it provides can address their multiple operational demands. Additionally, our global field services footprint enables us to deliver this solution to customers in a timely manner and continue supporting their long-term maintenance needs.”

GE’s FlexEfficiency* Advantage, which features the AGP solution, enables GE customers to deploy 21 st century technology to their installed power generation assets and current operational demands. GE leverages the latest in thermodynamic design and its exclusive systems understanding to deliver modern-day efficiency and output while maintaining low emissions. Since installing its first heavy-duty gas turbine in 1949, GE has amassed more than 25 terabytes of OEM engineering data, plus more than 93 million hours of real-world operating data. GE analyzes this vast repository of information daily to extract the fundamental, systems-based knowledge needed to optimize performance.

GE customers around the globe currently are operating 22 7F gas turbines with AGP technology to address a wide scope of regional market dynamics:

  • KOSPO has installed six AGP systems at its Shinincheon plant to generate 130 megawatts (MW) of additional power. With South Korea’s burgeoning economy driving higher demand for electricity, the upgrades have helped ensure the country’s grid stability and provided a higher reserve margin of power, which previously dipped as low as 4 percent during peak demand periods. “We approached GE as a partner to identify a solution that would address the growing economic diversity and demand for energy that our country is experiencing,” said Kyung-kyu Lim, manager, KOSPO’s PowerGen department. “Having the ability to deliver more power by upgrading our existing infrastructure has been a timely and cost-effective approach to meeting our customers’ needs, while maintaining our commitment to clean energy production.”
  • Calpine Corporation’s Los Medanos and Pastoria plants in California, and Westbrook facility in Maine, have experienced a 5.5 percent output increase since installing AGP technology on six GE 7F gas turbines. They also have experienced an approximately 1 percent improvement in site heat rates. This performance has better positioned the plants to bid more competitively for power demand, as well as capitalize on opportunities to capture additional revenue.
  • A Southeastern U.S. GE customer is deploying AGP technology on its 7F gas turbines as part of its long-term fleet modernization strategy. The project is improving the power provider’s operational efficiency, expanding its capacity and will help manage long-term costs more effectively to deliver additional value to the company’s customers and shareholders.
  • AGP upgrades on two 7F gas turbines at Duke Energy’s Smith Energy Complex in Raleigh, N.C., are currently being installed and will generate an output increase of 16 MW and fuel efficiency increase of more than 1 percent. Richmond County’s growing population and regional business footprint has driven incremental power demand, along with the need for the site to operate more flexibly as market conditions fluctuate.
  • In Alberta, Canada, TransCanada Energy Ltd.’s MacKay River cogeneration plant needed to deliver more electricity and steam capacity, while maintaining high operational availability to support its nearly 24-hour-a-day manufacturing cycle. The upgrade currently is being installed and MacKay expects to increase its power output by 4.5 percent, while maintaining its low emissions footprint to remain aligned with Alberta’s clean energy policies.
  • IBERDROLA, Mexico’s leading private power generation company, installed AGP upgrades on eight units at its TAMAZUNCHALE and Altamira V plants to manage operational costs including fuel consumption. Additionally, since deployment of the technology in 2010, the output gained from the upgrades has enabled IBERDROLA to increase its operational revenue by winning more bids for power in the region.

GE has leveraged more than 30 million hours of 7F operational experience, including 150,000+ operating hours of AGP systems data, in applying design innovations to key gas turbine components including hot gas path buckets, nozzles and shrouds. Cooling and sealing advancements on these and other components enable a GE gas turbine to operate at higher temperatures, which translates to increased output in varying ambient conditions and operating profiles. The system’s cooling and sealing features also help GE customers achieve more operational efficiency and, in turn, lower fuel consumption.

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