GT26 upgrade to boost efficiency at Japan combined cycle

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GE has announced a third order for its GT26 HE (high efficiency) gas turbine upgrade with Japanese power producer JFE Steel Corporation (JFE) at its Chiba Power Plant in Japan. In continuing its over 15-year commitment to keep JFE’s gas turbine fleet competitive in Japan’s energy marketplace, GE will upgrade JFE’s existing GT26 MXL2 unit to GE’s latest and most advanced solution introduced on a GT26 gas turbine: the HE upgrade. This solution will provide JFE Steel with GE's most advanced performance improvements for an F-class combined cycle gas turbine.

Japan's electricity segment continues to drive deregulation while experiencing a decline in power demand, leading energy producers to focus on delivering a stable power supply for Japan's industrial operators. As a power producer, JFE continually focuses on modernizing its aging energy infrastructure —by enhancing power output and efficiency.

Two years ago, GE supported the modernization of JFE’s GT26 gas turbine in Chiba, implementing the MXL2 gas turbine upgrade, effectively increasing the output of the turbine by up to 60 megawatts (MW).

This year, JFE decided to implement GE’s latest GT26 HE technology to continue to improve Chiba power plant’s efficiency and reach new levels of performance and profitability—including an increase in output and efficiency at varying loads. In addition, Chiba power plant’s reliability will be enhanced, while the plant output is expected to increase by more than 10 MW, with efficiency increasing by more than 1%.


“Our GT26 HE solution represents an innovative milestone in the evolution of GE’s gas power technology. By combining technologies from both F- and H-Class fleets, we are helping to improve JFE’s competitive position in the Japanese energy marketplace,” said Amit Kulkarni, Head of Large Block Utility (F/H) Product Segment in GE Gas Power. “The upgrade is GE’s first Asia order for the GT26 HE and the third since its introduction in the market some months ago. We are excited by the expected additional power and efficiency that this solution will provide for JFE, as well as the momentum and demand for the GT26 HE upgrade globally.”

The GT26 HE upgrade, introduced in 2019, is powered partly though advanced technology from GE's flagship HA gas turbine, with additive manufactured parts and innovations in aerodynamics, material science and combustion dynamics. It embeds technology breakthroughs across every major component of the GT26 frame—turbine, compressor and combustor—to take turbine performance to a new level, significantly decreasing fuel costs while increasing full-load output and enhancing reliability.

The upgrade is expected to be completed in Baden, Switzerland and shipped to Chiba, Japan, for installation in 1Q 2021 and is expected to be operational by mid-2Q 2021