Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order for three sets of supercritical-pressure coal-fired boiler (pressure-containing component) and steam turbine/generator from Maharashtra State Power Generation Co., Ltd. (Mahagenco) of India. The equipment will be delivered for Units 8, 9 and 10, 660 megawatts (MW) each, at Mahagenco's Koradi Thermal Power Station as part of a project aimed at easing electricity shortages arrising due to Maharashtra region's robust economic growth. Trial operations of Unit 8 are scheduled to begin in late 2013, followed by Unit 9 around mid-2014 and Unit 10 in late 2014.
The order was coordinated by Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T), a high-technology driven engineering and construction organization and one of the largest companies in India's private sector. L&T has outsourced the boiler packages and steam turbine/generator packages to L&T MHI Boilers Private Limited (LMBPL), a boiler manufacturing joint venture between L&T and MHI, and L&T MHI Turbine Generators Private Limited (LMTGPL), a turbine/generator manufacturing joint venture between L&T and MHI, respectively. MHI will manufacture the core components of the boilers and turbines and supply them to the two joint ventures. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation is responsible for generators.
Both LMBPL and LMTGPL were established in April and December 2007, respectively; they operate under technology licensing from MHI.
Mahagenco, which is owned by Maharashtra state, is the second-largest electricity generator in India. The company was established in accordance with the unbundling of the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) into four companies in June 2005. Mahagenco has installed power generation capacity of 9,996 MW in total - 6,800 MW by coal-fired thermal power, 2,344 MW by hydropower and 852 MW by gas-based power generation.
Supercritical-pressure coal-fired power generation uses higher steam temperatures and pressures than subcritical-pressure power generation, and is more fuel-efficient and friendlier to the environment. By reducing coal consumption relative to power output, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions can be reduced. However, generation in supercritical mode requires more sophisticated technology in equipment design to withstand the high temperature and pressure levels. Also the machining of high-strength component materials is much more difficult. MHI has vast experience with these systems, having already delivered many units in Japan and abroad.
Thanks to the success of its economic deregulation policy introduced during the 1990's, India achieved over 9% economic growth for three straight years from fiscal 2005 through 2007. The country continues its strong growth despite the global economic crisis, maintaining a high growth rate of 7.2% in fiscal 2009. Along with economic development, India's gap between electricity supply and demand is becoming increasingly serious. To cope with this energy supply issue, many large-scale coal-fired power plant construction projects are under way in various regions of the country.
MHI has been responding to India's energy situation through its aforementioned local JVs and through aggressive marketing activities in the country together with L&T. MHI will further strengthen its activities to develop the market for highly efficient supercritical-pressure steam turbines and boilers in India.
Note: Supercritical turbines are engineered to operate at steam pressures above water's critical point: 22.1MPa (about 220 times greater than normal atmospheric pressure) and 374.2°C (705.2°F/647.15°K). In actual use, they will be operated in an environment of about 250 atm.