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Industry giant retires
Dr. Dara W. Childs has stepped down as Director of the Turbomachinery Laboratory at Texas A&M University, and chair of the Turbomachinery & Pump Advisory Committees following 46th Turbomachinery & 33rd Pump Symposia (TPS), after 55 years of research and teaching. Childs got his start in NASA’s American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) program, whose focus was to develop the space shuttle main engine. He then landed a NASA-Marshal Space Flight Center contract in 1975 to analyze the vibration characteristics of the high- pressure oxygen and fuel turbo pumps of the engine. Through his research, he found the shuttle’s main engine to be unstable. NASA offered Childs funding for a re- search program, which he established at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) in 1980.
“My research career was built from the one 1975 study I led that predicted the space shuttle main engine pump would be unstable,” said Childs said, referring to the 37,000 square foot high-bay Turbomachinery Laboratory research facility, adjacent to Texas A&M’s main campus. While other turbomachinery research labs have downsized, the Turbo Lab continues to flourish because of funds from the TPS. Childs chaired the TPS turbo and pump advisory committees since 1984, when he was named Director of the Turbo Lab. “Almost all professors end up work- ing only with other professors, and I have the privilege of working alongside suc- cessful industry engineers,” said Childs. “These advisors are the best in their fields in the world. The advisory committees are the single greatest resource that the Lab has.”
In 1984, Childs co-founded the Turbo- machinery Research Consortium (TRC). This is an organization of developers and users that evaluate turbomachinery performance and reliability. The TRC has 38 member companies and 17 active projects. Childs was honored with a banquet at TPS in December 2017. The search for a new Turbo Lab director is underway.
ABB’s digital strategy
Digitization, big data and analytics may offer a way to address today’s industry challenges:
• Ever-widening regulations
• Large-scale integration of renewables and distributed energy resources
• Risk of cyberattack
• Generational shift in the workforce
• Aging plant equipment
• Volatile dynamic pricing and business model disruption.
They can also give power companies insight into the performance of their equipment, plants and fleet that open new ways of operating more competitively. “Digitization brings about gains of 10% for productivity, maintenance and reliabil- ity compared to 1-2% when digitization is not embraced,” said Matthew Littlefield, President and Principal Analyst at LNS Re- search. “Some 35% of power generation companies have invested in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in 2017.”
ABB claims the world’s largest in- stalled base of digitally enabled industrial products and devices. It has developed for the power industry the Ability Symphony Plus portfolio of digital solutions. More than 6,800 Symphony Plus systems have been installed in the past 35 years and more than 60 GW of additional power capacity has been installed during the last six years, much of it in the power generation and water sectors. The company reports that around one-third of the 70 million ABB-connected devices in existence are linked with power generation control systems.
One key area of ABB’s portfolio is the Cyber Security Workplace. It provides a suite of security applications and automation to reduce cyber security risks, in- crease system reliability and minimize efforts in sustaining and maintaining security best practices. It complies with national and international regulations and recommended security best practices. With it in place, power generators can enforce corporate industrial control security policies and improve visibility into the status of security without burdening plant personnel. “Industrial control systems that increasingly use open standards and commercial technology have introduced major operational benefits, but also cyber security concerns,” said Kevin Kosisko, Man- aging Director of ABB’s Power Generation & Water business, part of the Industrial Automation division. “ABB’s security solution gives customers a way to embrace foundational security practices while minimizing time demands on plant personnel, who are facing growing demands associated with security, regulatory compliance and corporate risk.”
The ABB Ability Symphony Plus and Ability System 800xA 5.1 distributed control systems (DCS) provide:
• System hardening: Monitoring and reporting, including identification of unnecessary software, components, ports, services and programs, including status showing present, removed or disabled
• Patch management: A centralized service for auditing and deploying security patches, which validate applicability and compatibility. It includes documented procedures for patching. Patches are validated, packaged and delivered securely, enabling customers to meet chain-of-custody requirements
• Malware protection management: A centralized service for auditing and deploying antivirus signature updates, which are evaluated, tested and verified to not contain false positives which could cause a system to stop on their deployment.
• Backup and recovery management: Automated and supported by best practices, procedure documentation and automation to backup and recover from a system failure. Maintains a detailed backup strategy, including recovery plan, according to business continuity needs.
ABB recently won an order to supply a high- fidelity operator training simulator from its Symphony family of control systems to a power plant in the Mauban municipality of the Philippines. Quezon Power, owner of this 460 MW coal-fired facility, will use the simulator to ensure operator competence. The simulator will offer a virtual re- creation of the Quezon plant, including non-standard scenarios and faults. This allows operators to become more familiar with their working environment and learn how to react in challenging situations. Quezon Power also upgraded the facility’s human-machine interface (HMI) to ABB Ability Symphony Plus Operations. Additionally, ABB will supply its Symphony Plus distributed control system to the largest solid refuse fuel power plant in South Korea. Construction of the plant, owned by Naepo Green Energy, has begun in Naepo New City, around 100 km south- east of Seoul. Scheduled for commissioning in 2019, the 66 MW plant will provide heat and electricity for the local district, producing it from domestic waste. ABB will provide design, engineering, commissioning and training for its Symphony Plus DCS, including the latest generation of SD Series energy-efficient control and I/O modules. The modules use less than 50% of the energy required by others in the market. Upon commissioning, Symphony Plus will offer plant performance monitoring of the boiler, turbine and its auxiliaries to provide actionable insights based on data analysis.
ABB and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) have also announced a strategic partnership that combines ABB’s Ability digital offerings with HPE’s information technology solutions. The partnership will provide solutions that generate actionable insights from vast amounts of industrial data to increase the operational efficiency and flexibility. ABB’s domain expertise in operations technologies (OT) and HPE’s in IT will be merged to turn industrial data into insights and automatic action, combining cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure with IT systems running in corporate data cen- ters and at the edge of the network.
Opra Turbines has been acquired by the Dalian Energas Group. Jan and Hiroko Mowill who founded OPRA in 1991 have retired from the company. Opra Turbines will continue its operations at a new head- quarters in Hengelo as a member of Ener- gas Group. The company develops, manufac- tures, markets and maintains generator sets in the 2 MW power range using the OP16 series of radial gas turbines. This compact industrial gas turbine (GT) is used in oil and gas as well as industrial markets. The generator sets can be installed as single or multiple units to cover installa- tion requirements from 2 MW to 10 MW. Generator sets can be provided with low emission and dual or multifuel capabili- ties. Dalian Energas Group headquartered in Dalian, China, includes Dalian Energas Gas System, Dalian Energas New Energy Development, Calorifer Engineering, RMG Messtechnik and Opra.
Elliott Group has signed a long-term service agreement (LTSA) to provide service and support for Borealis Group’s fleet of rotating equipment in Europe. The five- year contract includes general service, equipment upgrades, rotor repairs, technical support, emergency response, and turnarounds for all of Borealis’ European production facilities. Borealis is one of Europe’s largest producers of base chemicals and polyolefins, with operations in Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S. Elliott will service the contract from their repair facilities in the UK and Italy. Preparation is already under- way for a planned turnaround in the spring of 2018 at a Borealis site in Linz, Austria.
A 490 MW onshore combined cycle power plant (CCPP) near Darwin, Australia, has started up, providing power for the $34 billion Ichthys LNG Project. This will allow LNG processing trains to cool and liquefy natural gas. The fa- cility will use natural gas from the Ichthys Field. It features five GTs and three steam turbines (STs). The Ichthys LNG Project will have peak capacity of up to 8.9 million tons per annum (MTPA) of LNG, up to 1.65 MTPA of liquefied petroleum gas and 100,000 barrels of condensate a day.
Siemens slashes jobs
Siemens is cutting 6,900 jobs worldwide, half of them in Germany. This comes just a few weeks after GE Power announced job cuts in excess of 10,000. Siemens cited falling GT demand amidst a growing market for renewables as a primary reason. Declining global demand for large GTs (more than 100 MW) is expected to level out at around 110 turbines a year. By contrast, the manufacturing capacity of all producers worldwide is estimated at around 400 turbines. The power generation business will ac- count for 6,100 job losses. In Germany, plans call for an adjustment of around 2,600 jobs and the closure of the Görlitz location (currently about 720 jobs) and the Leipzig location (around 200 jobs). In addition, the solutions businesses (Solutions) of the Offenbach and Erlangen locations will be combined. These three measures will lead to the elimination of 1,600 jobs in total. For the location in Erfurt, several options are under review, including a sale. Around 640 jobs are to be cut in Mülheim an der Ruhr and about 300 in Berlin. Outside Germany, the restructuring measures will eliminate a total of just over 1,100 jobs in European countries. In countries outside Europe, another 2,500 jobs will be affected, including 1,800 jobs in the consolidation of production facilities and administrative functions in the U.S.
“The power generation industry is experiencing disruption of unprecedented scope and speed,” stated Lisa Davis, member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG. “With their innovative strength and rapidly expanding generation capacity, renewables are putting other forms of power generation under increasing pressure.”
Siemens sees little future in large GTs, and is cutting back in several other areas of its manufacturing empire. However, the company continues to ink deals around the world. It has signed contracts with the state-owned utility GECOL to expand Libya’s power generation capacity by 1.3 GW. The company will build a 650 MW open cycle power plant equipped with two F-class GTs, and a 690 MW open cycle power plant in Tripoli West with four E class GTs.
Siemens has received a contract to expand the Genelba gas-fired power station in Argentina. Working with its Argentine partner Techint, it will expand the power station for Pampa Energía. Known as Genelba Plus, it involves converting the existing power station in Marcos Paz, Buenos Aires Province, into a CCPP. This will increase capacity from 168 MW to 364 MW. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2019. Genelba Plus is a multi-shaft CCPP, in which two GTs and one ST each drive their own generator. Siemens will supply one SGT5- 2000E GT, one SST-5-5000 ST, and two SGen-100A generators, in addition to two NEM high recovery steam generators (HRSGs), the SPPA-T3000 distributed control system, and medium and high- voltage components.
Siemens has signed contracts with Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity. The project will see the maintenance and upgrade services of seven power generating units inside four power plants. The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity is working towards improving the availability and reliability of power supply, while minimizing power losses. Siemens will carry out service and maintenance works across the four plants. The outage and upgrade services will enhance the reliability and efficiency of these units, helping them collectively generate more than 1 GW, 400 MW more than today, and save up to 10% in fuel consumption. Iran has taken delivery of the two F- class GTs from Siemens for use at a 600 MW power station under construction in Bandar Abbas. The contract covers two SGT5-4000F GTs and SGen5-2000H generators and the associated power plant instrumentation and controls.
Siemens has opened a new MindSphere Application Center for Power Generation Services. It has been designed so that energy customers, software engineers and Siemens engineers could explore the value offered by digital tools. It also showcases digital offerings such as a Digital Power Plant running on MindSphere. Siemens has received an order from Nizhnekamskneftekhim to build a CCPP in Tatarstan, Russia. Siemens will cooperate with the Turkish company Enka to build the 495 MW facility. The contract includes the delivery of two SGT5-2000Е GTs, one SST-600 ST and the corresponding power distribution systems as well as a 13-year service agreement. The plant is scheduled to begin operation in May 2021.
Gas processing plants
Rockwell Automation is main automation contractor (MAC) for Encana as it builds three new gas processing plants in the Montney region of Canada. All three Encana facilities have begun production. Rockwell Automation provided control systems, safety instrumented systems and interfaces to the third-party OEM skids in each facility.
GTT has received an order from the Chinese shipyard Hudong-Zhonghua Ship- building for two dual purpose vessels capable of operating as LNG Carriers and Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs). These vessels will be built at Shanghai, China, for the owner Dynagas. Their delivery is due in 2021. GTT will design the LNG tanks of both units, each representing a capacity of 174,000 m 3 . A membrane cryogenic containment system with glass wool insulation will be used for the LNG storage on board. Currently, 14 vessels in operation and 42 on order use this technology.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Mit- subishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Com- pressor (MCO) have successfully completed testing of MHPS’s 2-shaft 120 MW H-100 GT. The H-100 uses the latest combustor technology and offers single digit ppm NOx for full-load operations. MHPS has been technically selected by Gaz Et L’Energie (GEL) for the Humay Power Station project in Peru. The project includes one M501JAC GT, an HRSG, and an ST. The projected completion is 2020. The facility will produce 500 MW.
MHPS has received an order for two H-25 GTs for an 80 MW LNG-fired CCPP project developed by Qingdao Energy Kaiyuan Thermoelectricity. The turbines are scheduled to begin operations in December 2018 and will be the core components of the cogeneration plant, which will provide power and heat for industrial processes. The facility requires GTs, STs, generators, and exhaust heat recovery boilers. MHPS will produce two 32 MW H-25 GTs, and supply them through the local main con- tractor Harbin Guanghan Power Technology Development. Using an energy-step-utilization process, high-temperature waste heat from the GTs will be converted into steam by the exhaust heat recovery boilers and that steam will be sent to the ST. The extracted steam will also be used for heating.
Like many engineering firms, Parker Hannifin has established a new factory in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, in partnership with Tamimi Energy. This will facilitate the production of inlet filters for GTs in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region.
New geothermal plant
Exergy has inaugurated the Pico Alto 4 MW geothermal power plant in the Azores. Owned by EDA, the Azores power utility company, it is now in commercial operation. The plant uses a geothermal high-enthalpy resource, exploiting the heat available both in steam flow and geothermal brine. An air- cooled ORC unit is equipped with an Exergy radial outflow turbine.
Aussie power plants
APR Energy has commissioned two new power plants in South Australia to defend against summer power outages. In August 2017, SA Power Networks contracted APR Energy to install and operate power plants in the suburbs of Adelaide that would add 276 MW in advance of peak seasonal demand. The plants feature the latest generation of GE TM2500 mobile GTs of 30 MW capacity.
Keeping Rawhide rolling
Using simulation technology embedded in Emerson’s Ovation control system platform, Platte River Power Authority has enhanced operator proficiency and boosted plant performance at Rawhide Energy Station Unit 1 in Wellington, Colorado. In the first four months, operators experienced a 44% reduction in startup and shutdown time. This 300 MW baseload Rawhide Unit 1 uses the system to test control logic changes without risk to the actual plant, verify patches prior to install and to improve plant operating procedures.
Simest, which with SACE forms CDP Group’s Export and Internationalization Center, has acquired an 11% stake in Ansaldo Energia Switzerland. Simest has also made an interest contribution against a €60m loan granted by UBI Banca, offering financial coverage for Ansaldo Energia Switzerland’s capitalization and investment plans. This will provide support for Ansaldo Energia Group’s investments in research and development relating to GT technology (class F and H) and service work on operating GTs.
Oil & gas cloud
The oil and gas cloud applications market is expected to grow from $3.33 billion in 2017 to $5.68 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.3%, according to the new market research report, “Oil and Gas Cloud Appli- cations Market - Global Forecast to 2022,” published by MarketsandMarkets. Major drivers of this market are the slump in oil prices and the emergence of big data and advanced analytics for fostering and enhancing operational efficiencies. Growing trends of mobile computing an d rapidly increasing adoption of hybrid cloud are the key opportunities that would fuel the market growth.
EthosEnergy has been awarded a contract in South Korea for a controls system up- grade on a Pratt & Whitney FT4C-3F TwinPac GT. The new control system provides increased flexibility, availability and risk reduction. Using open-architecture solutions, this allows the control system to be tailored to specific needs.
EthosEnergy has also been awarded a three-year contract by ITM O&M for refurbishment at the Umm Al Nar sta- tion in Abu Dhabi. This entails butterfly valve refurbishment at the station with repair & services work carried out at the EthosEnergy Abu Dhabi workshop and on-site.
A variable speed drive (VSD) has undergone testing in a simulated harsh subsea environment to investigate its reliability. This was carried out in a sheltered harbor in Vaasa, Finland. A VSD is needed to boost the productivity of oil and gas processes and improve energy efficiency. The test is the latest in a five-year Joint Industry Project between Statoil, Total, Chevron and ABB. It aims to develop transmission, distribution and power conversion systems for subsea pumps and gas compressors, operating at depths of 3,000 meters and over vast distances. By providing the large power needs closer to the reservoir, production improves due to the increased flow and pressure of the stream. The subsea variable speed drive, designed for subsea gas compression, was operated, over three weeks in a back-to- back configuration directly with the grid, without motor loads.
The subsea VSD features a pressure compensated design, whereby all its power components are cooled by being submerged in oil. The water test proved that the electronic and power components can meet the thermal performance demanded. Prior to the test, the main drive sub-assemblies and components were pressure tested at 300 bars in Statoil’s R&D facility in Trondheim, this test performed to demonstrate that the drive can tolerate a pressurized environment.
GE Power has been selected by Jiangsu Etern to supply its LMS100 GT for an up- coming 100 MW simple-cycle natural gas- fired plant in the city of Shahjibazar in Bangladesh. The project is expected to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2019. The embedded dual-fuel capability gives enables the GT to operate on natural gas and LPG. Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) has installed three GE 9HA GTs, three STs and three HRSGs at the PS 5 facility, a 1,792 MW CCPP with an efficiency of 54%. The Gama Consortium is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. GE Power said its 9HA.02 GT has exceeded 64% efficiency in CCPPs. The company attributes part of the achievement to advances in additive manufacturing (3-D printing). Some 18 months ago, the EDF Bouchain facility in France entered commercial operation at 62.22% efficiency. New 3D printed blades have improved fuel-air mixing in the latest version. The 9HA.02 has an output of 826 MW in 1 x 1 CCPP configuration.
GE Additive has acquired GeonX, a privately owned developer of simulation software. Headquartered in Belgium, GeonX provides software for engineers when developing new products, to simulate additive manufacturing, welding, machining and heat treatment processes in various industries such as aerospace, automotive and energy. GeonX’s simulation software tool, Virfac (Virtual Factory), assesses products prior to production, predicting defects, dis- tortions and stresses and the impact manufacturing has on durability. This helps to reduce the number of prototypes built during the development phase, while improving the quality and lifetime of the manufactured products, minimizing time- to-market and development costs.
MAN Diesel & Turbo has won an order for nine compressor trains for the state- owned Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). MAN technology will be deployed in Kuwait’s Burgan field. The British plant manufacturer Petrofac has been contracted by KOC to build a gas gathering center to process accompanying gases and to improve the quality of the oil produced. Nine electric motor-driven MAN type RB35 and RB28 compressors are designed to handle sour and wet gas; high proportions of hydrogen chloride and hydrogen sulfide mean demanding requirements for machines and materials. MAN has received orders for compressor systems from steel producers Tata and JSW, where they will be used as blast furnace blowers.
JSW Steel has ordered two MAX1 compressor trains for the expansion of its steel works in Dolvi, India. Each system comprises an axial compressor with an electrical motor, as well as auxiliaries and supply units. Another order has come from Indian steel producer Tata. MAN is supplying a MAX1 compressor to one of Tata’s largest production sites in the Dutch city of Ijmuiden. An ST acts as driver, converting waste heat into rotating energy. The offshore production platform Ivar Aasen, run by Aker BP, is first to use the hermetically sealed HOFIM compressor system. The HOFIM compressor system is similar to MAN’s subsea compressors, in operation at Statoil’s Åsgard field in 300 m water depth with more than 30,000 running hours. The Ivar Aasen field lies in the Norwegian North Sea, about 175 km west of Karmøy, and contains about 200 million barrels of oil equivalents. Oil and gas from Ivar Aasen will be transported via pipelines to the Edvard Grieg platform, where it will be processed and exported to the market. It is anticipated that the field will have an economic lifetime of about 20 years. MAN’s compression system for Ivar Aasen comprises a multi-stage radial compressor (1×100%) arranged in tandem configuration around a centrally positioned 9.5 MW, high-speed electrical motor. The integrated active magnetic bearings are provided by Mecos, a MAN company.
A new 70 MW steam turbine from Doosan Škoda Power provides steam and electric- ity for one of the largest petrochemical plants in Europe. It was delivered to Poland’s petrochemical giant PKN Orlen in the second half of 2017. The back-pres- sure bleeding ST in Plock is now in full operation. The order also included build- ing work on the site.
Filters for high humidity
Between May and October, humidity in parts of Thailand remains above 80%. Filters without permanent moisture protection quickly lose their separation efficiency under these conditions and wear out faster. As a result, penetrating moisture can pollute the machines and damage them. Two GT power plants in Ratchaburim, Thailand had to be changed out to better handle these climatic conditions. They selected filters from Freudenberg Filtration Technologies (Viledon GTS Pulse-Jet filter cartridges of filter class F 9 / ISO ePM1 80 %). The synthetic organic filter material serves as a coalescer and protects the filters and turbines against excessive moisture and penetrating water. Coarse dirt particles are also trapped by the protection. While the previous filters had to be replaced in the rainy season after three months, the new filter cartridges have been functioning for two years.
Saudi Aramco order
Baker Hughes, a GE Company, gained an order from Saudi Aramco with 27 gas compression trains for the Haradh and Hawiyah gas fields. The goal is to double gas production in the region to 23 Bcfd (0.65 X 109 m3) over the course of the next decade. The trains comprise centrifugal compressors, gearboxes, electric mo- tors and loop oil systems. They will be manufactured in Italy and packaged in Saudi Arabia.
Malaysian combined cycle
Pöyry has bagged an engineer services contract for a 1,440 MW CCPP in Johor, Malaysia. The plant is operated by South- ern Power Generation. The project consists of two 720 MW natural gas-fired blocks, each powered by a GE 9HA.02 GT with a triple pressure reheat, once-through heat recovery and ST in single shaft con- figuration. Pöyry’s assignment includes assistance in project management, design review, site supervision services, quality assurance and quality control, commissioning supervision services and services during warranty period. Pöyry is assisted in the assignment by its local partner, Min- consult Sdn Bhd. The overall schedule for Pöyry’s services is about four years.