Major gas retrofits and upgrades in 2013

15 January 2014 (Last Updated January 15th, 2014 18:30)

The year 2013 witnessed numerous gas turbine retrofits and upgrades as operators of existing plants worked to keep pace with advanced gas turbine technologies. Power-technology.com lists the biggest gas retrofit and upgrade contracts awarded or completed during 2013.

Major gas retrofits and upgrades in 2013

power station

Pembroke power station / Staythorpe power station, UK

Alstom received a major contract in October 2013 to upgrade five GT26 gas turbines operating at the 2,200MW Pembroke power station in Wales and four GT26 gas turbines of the 1,650MW Staythorpe power station in Nottinghamshire, UK. Each of the nine single shaft gas turbines will be retrofitted with Alstom's multi-mode MXL2 upgrade. The upgrade package offers the flexibility of switching between two modes of turbine operation, either for maximised power output or for lower maintenance cost, by extending the inspection interval.

The Pembroke and Staythorpe gas fired power stations, owned and operated by the UK-based energy company RWE Generation, are the two biggest combined cycle power plants in the UK. The Pembroke power station is made up of five 400MW gas turbines that started full commercial operation in September 2012. The Staythorpe gas-fired power station is comprised of four 400MW GT26 gas turbines that started full commercial operation in November 2010.

Midlothian / Hays / Bellingham / Blackstone combined cycle power plants, US

GDF SUEZ awarded a long-term service and upgrade contract worth €360m ($480m) to Alstom in June 2013 for a total of 14 GT24 gas turbine retrofits at the Midlothian and Hays combined-p cycle power stations in Texas, and the Bellingham and Blackstone combined cycle power plants in Massachusetts, US. The gas turbines at these plants will be retrofitted with a GT24 MXL upgrade package for flexible dual mode operation, ensuring maximised power output during peak power demand and lower operating costs during off-peak hours.

"Owned and operated by the UK-based energy company RWE Generation, they are the two biggest combined cycle power plants in the UK."

The 1,650MW Midlothian power plant has six GT24 gas turbines while the 1,100MW Hays power plant operates four GT24 gas turbines and became fully operational in 2001. The 539MW Bellingham gas-fired power plant and the 570MW Blackstone power plant, with two GT24 gas turbines each, started commercial operation in 2002 and 2001 respectively.

Milford combined-cycle power station, US / Sarnia and Poplar Creek co-generation power plants, Canada

Alstom received two long-term service agreements worth €170m ($233m) in October 2013 for EquiPower's 583MW Milford combined-cycle natural gas power plant in Connecticut, US, TransAlta's 444MW Sarnia cogeneration power plant in Ontario and the 356MW Poplar Creek cogeneration power plant in Alberta, Canada.

The scope of these contracts includes parts replacement, outage management, as well as optional gas turbine upgrades to enhance performance and reduce maintenance costs by extending inspection intervals. The Milford combined cycle natural gas power plant uses Alstom-built GT24 gas turbines, whereas the Sarnia and Poplar Creek co-generation power plants use Alstom's GT11N2 gas turbines.

South Humber Bank power plant, UK

In April, Alstom won a contract worth €120m ($164m) for long-term maintenance of five Alstom GT13E2 gas turbines and the upgrade of two of these gas turbines at the South Humber Bank power plant in north-east Lincolnshire, UK. The 1,266MW combined cycle power plant owned by Centrica Energy was commissioned in two phases between 1997 and 1999.

Phase one of the South Humber Bank power plant consists of three 166MW gas turbines and one 255MW steam turbine. Phase two saw the construction of two 169MW gas turbines and one 171MW steam turbine.

Little Barford power station, UK

RWE npower completed the £100m ($162.9m) upgrade at the Little Barford combined cycle power plant at St Neots, Cambridgeshire, UK, in May 2013. The plant's power generation capacity was increased by 40MW to 740MW. The plant's nitrogen oxides emissions were also reduced by 40% with the upgrade. The life of the power plant, which has been in operation since 1996, has been extended to 2025.

"The life of the power plant, which has been in operation since 1996, has been extended to 2025."

The decision to upgrade the power plant by replacing two gas turbines and upgrading the control system, boilers and generators at the plant was taken in March 2010. GE carried out the upgrade works. The combined cycle power plant has been fitted with two GE 9FA gas turbines. GE also signed a long-term service agreement for the Little Barford power station in May 2013.

Bang Bo gas-fired power plant, Thailand

Alstom received a contract order worth €90m ($123m) to service and upgrade the GT26 gas turbine of the Bang Bo gas-fired power plant, located at Khlong Daan in the Bang Bo district of Samut Prakan province, Thailand. The 350MW gas-fired power plant owned by Eastern Power and Electric Co. (EPEC) has been operational since 2000.

The gas turbine of the plant will be retrofitted with Alstom's MXL2 upgrade package for greater operational efficiency and to lower maintenance costs. Upgrade work is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. The contract also includes operation and maintenance of the GT26 gas turbine for 10 years.

Gila River power station, US

Wood Group GTS was awarded a four-year operations and maintenance (O&M) contract for the 2,200MW Gila River power station near Phoenix, US, by Entegra Power Group and Sundevil Power Holdings in January 2013. The contract includes provision for upgrading two of the eight GE Frame 7FA gas turbines operating at the plant.

Power output at the station was increased by 1.5% to 2.0% with the installation of Wood Group GTS' automated gas turbine tuning technology ECOMAX on six gas turbines as of January 2013. The station's power output is expected to increase further with the incorporation of this technology on the remaining two gas turbines.

Caojing power plant, China

Shanghai Caojing Co-generation launched a Dry Low NOx (DLN) combustion system upgrade on two 9FA 3-series gas turbines of the 790MW Caojing power plant in Shanghai, China, by awarding a contract to GE in January 2013. The contract also includes up to 10-year service agreement for the equipment.

GE will provide its DLN 2.6+ upgrade package, which is expected to bring down the NOx emissions levels of the plant to ten to 15 parts per million (ppm), compared to current levels of 25ppm. The upgrade also includes the installation of GE'S advanced controls solution AutoTune which provides real-time tuning and boundary control ensuring flexible operations of the gas turbines. The first upgrade is expected to be completed in 2014, whereas work on the second upgrade is scheduled to start in 2015.

"The life of the power plant, which has been in operation since 1996, has been extended to 2025."

Western Mountain power plant, Libya

Siemens was awarded a contract worth €100m ($135m) by General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) in February 2013 to overhaul and upgrade the 600MW Western Mountain gas-fired power plant in Ruwais, and the Khoms steam power plant in Khoms.

Western Mountain is an open cycle gas power plant, commissioned in 2005. It consists of four 150MW GT-1 V94.2 gas turbines manufactured by BHEL India. The upgrade will enhance the power plant's safety and efficiency.

Berakas power station, Brunei

The national energy company of Brunei, Berakas Power Company (BPC) awarded a contract to GE in May 2013 to upgrade four GE LM2500 aero-derivative gas turbines at the Berakas power station, located outside the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan.The life of the power plant, which has been in operation since 1996, has been extended to 2025.

The upgrade project, due for completion in 2015, will boost power output of the plant without additional emissions. Boustead International Heaters (BIH), GE's consortium partner for the upgrade package will provide the heat exchanger components.