Open cycle gas-fired power plant
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq
Four SGT5-2000E gas turbines
Owner and Operator
Expected Commissioning Date
The 640MW Khormala Gas-Fired Power Plant, which is under construction, is located 25km south of Erbil, in the Kurdistan area of northern Iraq.
It is an open cycle power project being developed by the Iraqi integrated oil and gas company KAR Group. The plant will also be operated by the company. KAR Construction and Engineering, a subsidiary of KAR Group, is constructing the power plant.
The plant will use natural gas from the KAR-owned Khormala oil field and light fuel oil (LFO) as backup fuel.
Construction of the Khormala power project started in 2012. Commissioning is expected by the end of 2013.
The power project is expected to provide electricity to around four million people of Kurdistan, upon its completion. It is equivalent to one fourth of Kurdistan region’s power demand.
Tripartite energy agreement and finances
In June 2012, on active initiation of the Iraqi Government, several companies from the Czech Republic and Turkey were roped in along with the Kurdistan-based KAR Group through a tripartite energy agreement, to finance and build the power plant.
The Czech companies, including Czech Export Bank and PSG International, would provide around $500m for the project. Turkey’s Renaissance Construction is also involved in the project.
The total estimated project cost and details of its financing have not yet been disclosed by the developer.
Technology at Kurdistan’s Khormala power plant
The plant will be initially based on a simple cycle operation, with a future plan for converting it into a combined cycle plant with an installed capacity of 100MW. The 640MW gas-fired plant will be installed with four Siemens SGT5-2000E gas turbines and four SGen5-100A generators. The rated capacity of each 50Hz turbine is 168MW.
SGT5-2000E gas turbines can be fired with both low and high-calorific gas or liquid fuels. The NOx and CO2 emissions of the turbines are minimal.
SGT5-2000E represents a reliable technology, with more than 300 units already in operation worldwide, completing more than 6.4 million operating hours. Rapid start-up is one of the major features of this technology.
The Khormala plant turbines will generate electricity using natural gas from the nearby oil field as primary fuel.
The gas turbines will use off-board combustion chambers that avoid direct flame radiation on the turbine blades. The turbines will also be equipped with 16-stage axial-flow compressor, with variable-pitch inlet guide vanes.
Transmission / power distribution from the gas-fired plant
Power generated from the plant will be transmitted through two new 400/132 kV substations. The power will be fed to the regional and national grid, through the new 400/132kV Erbil Center air-insulated switchgear (AIS) substation. The plant will also supply electricity to the Khormala oil field through another substation.
Contractors involved with Iraq’s Khormala power project
KAR Construction and Engineering awarded a €100m ($130m) contract to Siemens in September 2012 for supplying gas turbines, generators and ancillary systems for the Khormala power project.
Siemens subcontracted Braden, a subsidiary of Global Power Equipment, for providing gas turbine exhaust systems including diverter dampers at a cost of €8m ($10.4m).
In July 2012, Switzerland-based ABB was awarded a contract worth $120m to design, engineer and supply the electrical infrastructure for the plant on a turnkey basis. The contract involves the construction of two new substations and the supply of electrical balance of plant (EBoP), including the connection between the generators and the substations.
ABB will supply generator step-up transformers, 420kV disconnecting circuit breaker (DCB), medium and low-voltage switchgear, and plant automation control and protection systems as part of the contract.
Two of GE Energy’s Frame 6C gas turbines have begun commercial operation at the 130MW Kemalpasa power plant in Izmir, Turkey.
The 1,000MW Bushehr power plant in southern Iran was officially inaugurated in September 2011, nearly 38 years after Iran signed the original order.