Joetsu Thermal power station

US-based technology giant General Electric (GE) has secured orders to upgrade gas turbines for two thermal power generating facilities in Japan.

While the first order from Japanese utility Chubu Electric Power is for upgrading eight existing GE gas turbines at its 2,380MW Joetsu thermal power station, the second, from Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) is for the complete replacement and upgrade of eight gas turbines at Yokohama thermal power station.

Under the contract awarded for Joetsu combined-cycle power plant, GE’s Power Generation Services business will be responsible for upgrading the 7F gas turbines at the facility, with three GE Power FlexEfficiency upgrade offerings.

It will include a Dry Low NOx 2.6 (DLN2.6) combustor, an OpFlex gas turbine controls technology package, and its advanced gas path (AGP) solution.

Chubu Electric Power thermal power department power generation division general manager Akira Kuriyama said: "GE’s proven AGP solution gives us the ability to improve thermal efficiency by 0.7% and reduce the fuel costs and CO2 emissions of our Joetsu thermal power station.

"The AGP solution contributes to improved durability of the equipment itself and extends maintenance intervals from three years to four years."

"In addition, the AGP solution contributes to improved durability of the equipment itself and extends maintenance intervals from three years to four years, which helps to improve our competitiveness by reducing operational costs and shortening downtime for maintenance."

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The facility, which primarily uses liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel, is expected to benefit from the programme and be enabled to control overall fuel and lifecycle maintenance costs.

According to the terms of the contract awarded by TEPCO, the US-based firm will help Yokohama thermal power station improve its performance and lower lifecycle costs.

The eight gas turbines to be replaced and upgraded range from 9FA.01 to 9FA.03 models.

GE will reduce the operational costs for the power plant by shortening the time needed for service outages. Replacement of the gas turbines, combustion systems and control systems is intended to increase output by 7% per unit by for the facility, with an overall 1% increase in power plant efficiency.

The upgrade initiative is also likely to bring down the annual fuel costs of the plant by around $8m.

Image: Joetsu thermal power station, which has a generation capacity of 2,380MW. Photo: courtesy of General Electric.