MHI reorganization

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. has reorganized its nine business segments into four business domains: Energy & Environment; Commercial Aviation & Transportation Systems; Integrated Defense & Space Systems; and Machinery, Equipment & Systems. The intention is to leverage commonly shared customers, markets, core technologies and business strategies.

The content of the four business domains is planned as follows. The Energy & Environment domain will provide infrastructure in the energy and environmental areas. The Commercial Aviation & Transportation Systems domain will supply transportation systems and services for land, sea and air applications. Integrated Defense & Space Systems will provide defense systems, encompassing land, sea, air and space applications as well as related equipment and services. Machinery, Equipment & Systems will furnish products and services support to key industries and areas involving advanced technologies.

More gas, less coal

The U.S. used more natural gas, solar panels and wind turbines, and less coal to generate electricity in 2012, according to the most recent U.S. energy charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Natural gas consumption is up particularly in the electricity generation sector, where it has substituted directly for coal, while sustained low natural gas prices have prompted a shift from coal to gas in the electricity generating sector, according to A.J. Simon, an LLNL energy systems analyst.

Overall, the U.S. used 2.2 quadrillion BTU (British Thermal Units), or quads, less in 2012 than the previous year (3,400 BTU is equivalent to about 1 kW-hr). Once again, wind power saw the highest percentage gains, going from 1.17 quads produced in 2011 up to 1.36 quads in 2012. New wind farms continue to come on line with bigger turbines in response to government-sponsored incentives.

Solar energy also jumped from 0.158 quads in 2011 to 0.235 quads in 2012. Declines in prices of photovoltaic panels, due to global oversupply, drove this shift. This is the first year in at least a decade where there has been a measurable decrease in nuclear energy.

The rise in renewables is tied to both prices (the underlying cost of solar panels and wind turbines has gone down) and policy (government incentives or renewable energy targets in various states), Simon said. “It is likely to be a permanent cut as four nuclear reactors recently went offline (two units at San Onofre in California as well as the power stations at Kewaunee in Wisconsin and Crystal River in Florida). There are a couple of nuclear plants under construction, but they won’t come on for another few years.”

Coal and oil use dropped in 2012 while natural gas use jumped to 26 quads from 24.9 quads the previous year. There is a direct correlation between a drop in coal electricity generation and the jump in electricity production from natural gas.

The majority of energy use in 2012 was used for electricity generation (38.1 quads), followed by transportation, industrial, residential and consumption. However, energy use in the residential, commercial and transportation sectors decreased while industrial energy use increased slightly.

Siemens Oil & Gas CEO

Mario Azar has been appointed CEO of the solutions business unit in the Oil & Gas Division of Siemens’ Energy Sector. Prior to this appointment, he was Executive Vice President in the Fossil Power Generation Division since 2008 with responsibility for business in North and South America. Azar graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.

High temperature bearings

High temperature, self-lubricating Graphalloy bearing materials are said to be suitable for overcoming design problems in control linkages of oil field flares. The high heat of these flares has triggered bushing lubrication failures, causing flare control systems to fail. These repeated failures have resulted in unacceptable maintenance and replacement costs. U.S. EPA regulations require that oil field flares destroy volatile organic compounds emitted into the atmosphere in an environmentally friendly manner. To meet these requirements, oil field operators must use flares must provide a clean burn and operate reliably at remote sites under all conditions.

GE Oil & Gas headquarters

GE Oil & Gas will establish its new headquarters in London. The former head office in Florence, Italy will remain the headquarters for GE Oil & Gas Turbomachinery Products & Services, which is a major manufacturing and engineering site for the production of centrifugal compressors and gas turbines.

“London was selected given its position as an international business and travel hub. From this location, a team of leaders from our global support functions will be able to more efficiently reach and serve our colleagues and businesses globally,” said Dan Heintzelman, president and CEO of GE Oil & Gas.

The new location will support the business and 43,000 employees working in more than 100 countries. In addition to Turbomachinery Products & Services in Florence, GE Oil & Gas is comprised of Subsea Systems (Aberdeen, U.K.); Measurement & Control (Boston); Drilling & Surface (Houston); Downstream & Unconventional Products & Services (Houston); Lufkin (Lufkin, Texas) and PII Pipeline Solutions (Cramlington, U.K.).

GE Oil & Gas expects to relocate a limited number of employees, mainly associated with the support functions, to London. The new headquarters will be operational in January 2014.

Added Heintzelman: “Florence will keep strengthening its reputation as a center of excellence for the manufacturing of centrifugal compressors and gas turbines. In 2012 alone we invested more than $100 million in the modernization of our plants in Italy and continue to be committed to maintaining Florence as one of our premiere manufacturing sites.”

Atlas Copco compressors

Pallet and container pooling firm CHEP installed Atlas Copco compressors at its pallet production and repair sites in the UK. Five CHEP service facilities in the UK adopted Atlas Copco GA-series rotary screw compressors. All featured Variable Speed Drive (VSD) technology that matches compressor output to fluctuating demand.

Voith joint shafts

Nucor-Yamato Steel Company modernized its rolling mill with three Voith Turbo universal joint shafts of type CHT 740.40 in the new BD-1 (Break Down) support structure.

The shafts transmit torque from the motor to the rollers. These joint shafts are based on a design optimized using the Finite Element Method (FEM). The forged version of the flange yokes can deal with extreme loading conditions and provides optimum torque capacity.The shafts have an internal hydraulic cylinder which makes it possible to position the rolls and set any length for the universal joint shafts. A new bearing technology keeps the journal cross of the universal joint shaft wear-free. This is said to increase service life and reduce maintenance costs by 25-30%.

Chinese LNG plants

Siemens Energy has received orders from Hangzhou Zhongtai Cryogenic Technology Corporation for compressor trains at three LNG plants in China. These plants have a capacity of half a million standard cubic meters of gas per day. The machines for liquefying synthetic natural gas will be handed over to the customer in June 2014, after a delivery period of 12 months. Houma Tongsheng Yitong Natural Gas Company will operate one of the plants.

The compressor trains each consist of a six-stage, vertically split compressor (barreltype compressor) and a Siemens constant speed electric motor. This type of drive and control using inlet guide vane assemblies is said to provide more efficient and reliable operation than conventional compressor solutions with throttle valve or speed control. The compressor trains will be fabricated, assembled and packaged with the drives in Huludao, China.

Happy birthday LM6000

The LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine is celebrating its 20th year of operation. Based on the GE CF6-80C2 aircraft engine, the LM6000 has achieved more than 26 million operating hours, with more than 1,000 units shipped globally. It offers 40 MW to more than 50 MW with up to 42% efficiency. Five-minute fast starts, cycling and load-following capabilities have made it one of the top selling gas turbines in its class for the last 10 years. The latest enhancements include the FlexAero LM6000-PG with a single annular combustor, as well as its dry low emissions equivalent, the FlexAero LM6000-PH.

First FT4000 SWIFTPAC sale

PW Power Systems, Inc. (PWPS), a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., sold its first FT4000 aeroderivative gas turbine to a unit of Exelon Generation. Exelon purchased a 120 MW simple-cycle FT4000 SWIFTPAC power generation unit. With a modular design that includes proven features of FT8 SWIFTPAC power plants, the FT4000 engine powered by a Pratt & Whitney PW4000 derivative gas generator offers a nominal 60-to-120 MW package of peaking and base-load power in a compact footprint. The FT4000 engine is designed for simple cycle, combined cycle or cogeneration applications. The FT4000 SWIFTPAC unit is said to provide the highest power output of any aeroderivative gas turbine generator package available on the market.

Synthetic turbine fluid

The Dow Chemical Co.’s polyalkylene glycol (PAG)-based synthetic turbine fluid has been found to meet the requirements of GE’s gas turbine lubricant recommendations document, GEK 32568h. Developed to prevent varnish formation, the turbine fluid is also said to increase reliability and efficiency. Varnish is a byproduct of petroleum-based turbine oil degradation and carbon build-up.

The polar nature and chemical composition of PAG-based synthetic fluids produce low-molecular-weight byproducts that do not agglomerate and form varnish or sludge. It is also said to reduce the potential for entrained air bubbles that can lead to micro-dieseling, have better electrical conductivity than petroleum-based turbine oil, and not break down and react with water, minimizing fluid degradation and acid formation that can damage equipment. Dow’s PAG-based synthetic turbine fluid is available from American Chemical Technologies and is known as EcoSafe TF-25.

Russian joint venture

GE and OJSC Rosneft, a Russian oil company, have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture focused on developing local expertise and technology for the oil & gas sector in the Russian Federation.

This covers four main business activities: turning liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and gas-to-liquids (GTL) into commercial products, including refining gas and petrochemicals; developing offshore and subsea technologies, including Arctic activities; and enhancing production, including the use of artificial lift technologies.

A separate contract was signed for GE to supply two 77 MW 6F 3-series gas turbines for Rosneft’s largest production project at its Vankor oilfield in Siberia. The two gas turbines will be manufactured at a Russian Gas Turbines LLC facility in Rybinsk that is operated by a joint venture between GE, INTER RAO UES Group and Russian Technologies Corporation.

Blackhawk maintenance

Siemens has been awarded a 10-year service agreement for the Blackhawk Station power plant in Hutchinson County, Texas, owned by Borger Energy Associates LP. It covers maintenance, program management, spare parts and performance monitoring. Blackhawk can now take advantage of hardware designed to help extend scheduled inspection intervals on the two W501D5A (now named SGT6-3000E) turbines at the facility. Blackhawk is a 230- MW gas-fired cogeneration facility, which provides electric capacity to the grid. Exhaust from the two Siemens W501D5A gas turbines is directed to heat recovery steam generators where thermal energy in the exhaust gases is recovered to generate steam. The high-pressure steam is exported to an adjoining petroleum refining complex.

Ansaldo Energia contracts

Ansaldo Energia has been awarded contracts worth about EUR 320 million. An EPC contract signed with the Cairo Electricity Production Company provides for the design and construction of an open cycle turnkey 600 MW power plant in the suburbs of Cairo. It will be situated near an existing facility built by Ansaldo Energia in 2012.

In Chile, Ansaldo has sold two 270 MW RT-30 steam turbines with their air-cooled TRX-L56 turbogenerators to be installed at AES Gener’s Cochrane plant located in the region of Antofagasta. And Ansaldo has obtained a turnkey order from Terna for the design, installation, commissioning, testing, and 10-year servicing and maintenance of a synchronous condenser plant to be installed in Codrongianos, Italy.

Centrax gains in France

Centrax has expanded its presence in the French electric generation market with the sale of three gas turbine packages. Two CX501-KB7 units have been ordered by Dalkia Energy Services. One is for the Omnitherm district heating plant in Valence, near Lyon. The second unit will equip the Gie Evry district heating plant southwest of Paris. The third unit, a CX501-KB7, is for the energy company, Cofely. The unit will be used for the Chambery plant for drying gypsum.

Capstone in China

Capstone Turbine Corp. has sold several C30, C65 and C200 microturbines to be installed at various oil and gas sites around China. The orders, valued at $1.3 million, represent the company’s first sale into the country’s oil and gas market. Top-Well Petroleum Technologies, Capstone’s oil and gas distributor in China, received orders for the units from two Chinese oil and gas producers. The onsite electricity produced by the Capstone units will power production equipment.

Libyan contract

APR Energy has signed a contract with the national utility of Libya to provide for a turnkey 250 MW power plant. Featuring mobile turbines, this will help to provide interim power while the country repairs and builds its infrastructure as well as cover anticipated power demand during the summer season. It will encompass four sites.

Gas turbines in Siberia

West Siberia’s Povkhovskaya GTES-48 gas turbine electric power plant has gone into production. The 48 MW power plant will operate on oil-associated gas in the cogeneration cycle. The Povkhovskaya GTES-48 is the fifth facility of Lukoil- West Siberia’s on-site power generation which was developed by Aviadvigatel OJSC, a developer and builder of aeroengines and high-efficiency gas turbine units for electric power stations and for gas pumping plants. The plant consists of four 12 MW power generating units based on the Aviadvigatel GTU-12PG-2 gas turbine.

Saudi compressor

An aging compressor control system at Saudi Aramco’s Haradh gas and oil separation plant in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province has been replaced by GE with new technology that automates the control process for three compressors. This marks the first compressor control project with Saudi Aramco for GE’s Measurement & Control business. Haradh GOSP-1 has three motor-driven compressors that maintain gas compression after it is separated from oil. The previous compressor control system used programmable logical controllers, which GE replaced with Mark VIe technology, along with GE’s OptiComp compressor control algorithms and remote control capability from the plant’s existing distributed control system.

Absorption chiller plant

Dubai Aluminium (Dubal) has leveraged a nominal volume of the steam produced by the captive cogeneration and combined cycle Dubal power station to drive the UAE’s first absorption chiller using waste heat. The new chiller uses high-vacuum conditions to lower the boiling point of water to 3.7°C while leveraging the chemical affinity of lithium bromide to absorb water. At low temperature, concentrated LiBr absorbs water vapor given off in the boiling process. As the LiBr dilutes, its capacity to absorb water vapor reduces. A heat source is required to re-concentrate the LiBr — steam, flue gases or even hot water. In Dubal, steam is generated from waste energy.

Heating causes the solution to release absorbed water vapor, which is cooled in a separate chamber to become a liquid refrigerant (in the form of chilled water) through condensation. The process uses 40% of the electricity consumed by conventional electrically driven chillers and a nominal 0.6 tons of steam per hour to produce sufficient cooling for the same purpose.

Ukrainian plant

Alchevsk Metallurgical Plant, a unit of ISD Corporation, recently commissioned a 303 MW gas turbine power station for its iron and steel refinery in the Ukraine. The $675 million project uses secondary metallurgical gases for electric power sufficient to cover the plant’s needs, thereby eliminating the use of natural gas. This project embraces technologies of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Yuba, Nooter Eriksen, as well as Ukrainian project companies, Enorgoproekt and Energostal.