China claims breakthrough in independent manufacture of advanced gas turbines

Staff of China's State Power Investment Corporation and expert panel that appraised the SPIC's claim[/caption]

China’s top power generating company has claimed success in the design and manufacturing of a key hot gas path component for 300 MW-class gas turbines. The State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), which recently signed a series of collaboration agreements with Siemens and Ansaldo, claimed on its website: “On the morning of December 25, China's first level I turbine vane casting of 300MW/F class heavy duty gas turbine successfully passed the appraisal judged by 13 experts from Dongfang Electric Corporation, Shanghai Electric Group Company Limited, Harbin Electric Corporation, University of Science and Technology Beijing, China National Machinery Industry Corporation and Fushun Special Steel.” The company has called this an important milestone in the independent development of heavy duty gas turbines.

The CLP Heavy Duty Gas Turbine Co., Ltd. ("CLP"), Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suvast Special Alloy Technology Co., Ltd. and other relevant units have delivered not only a blade but also the associated process and quality assurance systems, it said on its website.

So far, China had developed capabilities to design and manufacture cold end components of gas turbines. SPIC has claimed mastery in the independent design, smelting of the superalloys along with the IPs, as well as the casting process. While this may well be a milestone, SPIC has acknowledged that end-to-end design and manufacture of an advanced gas turbine is still beyond its capabilities.

The project to design and manufacture advanced gas turbines was part of the strategic goals of the Chinese government formulated in 2015.

Earlier this year, Siemens and State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC) of China entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for technology collaboration in heavy-duty GTs. Siemens said it will support China’s goal to independently develop and build a heavy-duty GT.

In July, Ansaldo Energia signed an MOU with SPIC to develop a new gas turbine. Ansaldo Energia said it was willing to support SPIC in its independent research and development work on heavy duty gas turbines and to provide specialized training and technical advice to SPIC research and development engineers. Chinese firm SEC holds 40% equity stake in Ansaldo.

In November, Shanghai Electric Gas Turbine Co., Ltd. and Ansaldo Energia signed a contract worth about €60 million for the supply of the first Ansaldo Energia H class GT36 Gas Turbine for Minhang Combined Cycle Power Plant in China. Ansaldo Energia has signed contracts for the supply of nearly 30 gas turbines to China, corresponding to a value of production of more than €400 million.