MITSUBISHI EXPANDS IN NORTH AMERICA

David M. Walsh, Senior Vice President Marketing, Projects and Services and a member of the Board of Directors at Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, discusses turbine development and deployment, as well as advances in U.S.- based manufacturing.

How are your turbine manufacturing facilities in North America doing?

They are performing very well. Our Orlando operations continue to manufacture and repair components to not only support our Long Term Agreements and existing customer base, but also new blades and vanes to support gas turbine and steam turbine manufacture at our new turbine manufacturing facility, Savannah Machinery Works.

At Savannah this past fall we shipped our first three U.S. manufactured 501GAC units, and have completed two more GAC units since then. This summer we also delivered our first steam turbine rotor upgrade which included a new rotor manufacture and unit assembly, and we currently have four more steam turbines and rotors in work. With the growing confidence in the marketplace we have an increased manufacturing pipeline of GAC Units and new steam turbine units. We have also kicked-off activities for our first U.S. manufactured M501J that will complete and ship from Savannah in 2015.

Our latest investment activities at the Savannah Machinery Works have included expanding our capability for complete gas turbine rotor manufacturing, and the construction of one of the largest rotor high-speed balancing facilities in the world. This milestone supports our longer term goal of providing 75% North American content in our power generation products.

What is new with F-Series turbines?

We have taken a different approach between 50 and 60 Hz. In 60 Hz we offer advanced frames, such as the G- and J-class, while several high-efficiency F upgrades had been introduced for the 50 Hz market. This is based on historic cycles of high demand that are usually not simultaneous. The latest F offerings in 50 Hz are the M701F4 and M701F5. The F4 was launched in 2007 and a total of 30 units have been sold with more than half in commercial operation. The F5 is more recent and operates at a 1,500°C turbine Inlet temperature for combined cycle efficiency in excess of 60%. This frame combines F4 features with technology retrofits from the G- and J- class. For the 60 Hz market, we have also developed a range of interval- extending and output-improving parts adaptable to both M501F and W501F units.

How about the G-Series?

With 60 units around the globe, the Mitsubishi-G series is the largest and most successful steam cooled fleet in the market. This success is illustrated by third-party documented simple cycle plant availability of 92.16%, and simple cycle plant reliability of 99.48% over the last 12 months (SPS Operational Reliability Analysis Program 2nd Quarter 2013 Report).

In order to address the faster and cyclic response required in the North American market, the original steam-cooled G was modified to use air cooling. The resulting engine is called the M501GAC and can be offered with fast-start capabilities. We have achieved robust sales of this frame in North America and Korea, bringing the M501GAC Fleet total to 21 units.

Where do we stand with your J-Series efforts?

The J-Series development was completed more than five years ago after a thorough validation process that included more than two years of operation in our validation plant in Japan. To date the M501J in commercial operation at this plant has exceeded 12,500 actual operating hours and 135 starts.

Currently, eight M501J units are in commercial operation and a recent order from Taiwan Power Company for 6 x M501J units brings the M501J fleet total to 24 units. We are scheduled to implement an air-cooled conversion for next year following the successful experience of the G-to-GAC conversion. The aircooled version, called JAC, will be operated for one year and is scheduled for delivery in 2015.

What can North American operators look forward to with the J machines?

Clients in the U.S. can count on a robust and proven engine that offers the highest combined cycle efficiency making it a hedge against potential natural gas price fluctuations. We are currently setting up our Savannah facility and qualifying local suppliers to build this frame in the U.S. following the successful approach used for the GAC.

How about steam turbines?

We have been successful in selling our M501GAC and M501J gas turbines in a “power train” scope of supply. In many of these cases we are supplying our most advanced Single-case Reheat Steam Turbine, the SRT-50, as part of the power train. The SRT-50 integrates our latest design features for optimum performance and reliability and incorporates our 50- inch last-stage blade.

The SRT-50 has successfully completed MHI’s in-house product design and validation process. To date we have sold seven SRT-50 units in Japan, and one SRT- 50 unit in North America. The first unit has gone commercial and the remaining seven units are expected to be in commercial operation by 2016.