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Panda Temple Power Project, Temple, Texas, United States of America

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Panda Temple Power Project, Temple, Texas

Panda Temple project is a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant being built in the city of Temple, Texas, US.

"A long-term service agreement and an order volume has been purchased for about $300m by Panda Temple Power."

Temple Generating Station will be located in the Synergy Industrial Park. The plant will spread across 250 acres. The engineering and design work of the plant began in February 2012. Construction work was started in July 2012 and the commercial operation of the power plant is scheduled to commence by the end of 2014.

A consortium of Siemens and Bechtel is constructing the power plant under a $300m contract. The power generated by the plant will fulfill the power needs of nearly 750,000 homes in central and north Texas.

The plant will benefit the state's future energy requirements and will generate about $1.6bn revenue for the state during construction and in the first ten years of operation.

The project will employ about 400 to 500 workers during construction.

Turbines, equipment and Flex-Plant-30 technology

The Panda Temple power plant will have equipment supplied by Siemens, including two SGT6-5000F gas turbines, one SST6-5000 steam turbine, two SGen6-1000A generators, one SGen6-2000H generator and the SPPA-T3000 instrumentation and control system.

"Stringent environmental rules may result in the closure of older gas and coal-fired plants. Low wholesale power prices have been discouraging new plants."

The SGT6-5000F is a four-stage gas turbine with power capacity of 208MW. The SST6-5000 steam engine includes a combined high-pressure / intermediate-pressure cylinder and at least one double flow-low-pressure cylinder. It has a capacity up to 500MW. The Shaping Power feature of the gas turbines enables the plant to generate higher yield during hotter days.

SGen6-1000A is a hydrogen-cooled generator with efficiency up to 99%. Two Benson heavy duct-fired heat recovery steam generators will also be part of the plant equipment. The SPPA-T3000 (Siemens Power and Process Automation T3000) undertakes various power plant automation tasks, such as turbine control, boiler control and protection, balance of plant (BOP) and integration of third party systems.

The Panda plant will be based on Siemens' combined cycle Flex-Plant-30 technology. It provides the turbines with fast start capability. The plant can start generation within ten minutes from startup, and full base-load power production can begin in less than an hour.

Finances and contractors for Texas's power project

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The power plant project, when announced in 2007, was estimated to cost about $750m. Panda Power Funds and other financial institutions plan to fund the power plant with equity financing.

A long-term service agreement and an order volume has been purchased for about $300m by Panda Temple Power. Under the turnkey construction contract, Bechtel is responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the facility.

Siemens will supply the power island equipment, including the natural gas and steam turbines and waste heat recovery boilers. The company will manufacture turbines and generators at its production facility located at Charlotte, in North Carolina.

NEM will supply two Benson heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) for the power plant, under a sub-contract with Siemens.

Environmental impact of the Panda Temple project

The plant was granted with an air permit by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in October 2008.

The plant is claimed to one of the cleanest fossil-fueled plants in the country. Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions will be less than ten parts-per-million (ppm), and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions less than 2ppm.

Texan power market details

The power industry has been predicting severe power crisis in Texas in the coming years. The power reserves are forecast to drop below ten percent by 2014.

The state power grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), has announced in its 2010 annual report that the power reserves will fall from 21.8% to 12.3% in 2014 and further to 10.2% in 2015.

Stringent environmental rules may result in the closure of older gas and coal-fired plants. Low wholesale power prices have been discouraging setting up of new plants in the state.

In 2012, state regulators decided to increase the wholesale price limit by 50% during power scarcity.

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