GE (NYSE:GE) will upgrade two 30-year-old 9B Gas Turbines to GE 9E Gas Turbines to lower emissions and improve the efficiency, reliability and output of a gas-fired power plant in Trapani owned by E.ON Produzione S.p.A, an Italian energy producer. The plant plays a key role in stabilizing the power grid between Sicily and mainland Italy.
The upgrade project was announced today at an event in Milan attended by GE and E.ON representatives and the vice president and director for Industry, Crafts and Cooperation of Lombardy Region, Andrea Gibelli, who was greeted by Sandro De Poli, president and CEO of GE in Italy and by Miguel Antoñanzas, president and CEO of E.ON Italia.
GE will upgrade Trapani’s two gas turbine trains from 85 and 89 megawatts, respectively, to 107.8 megawatts per unit. The upgrade will include temperature firing increases, advanced sealing features, new unit rotors and compressor stator vanes, new open air ventilated generators and the installation of a DLN 1 combustion system.
E.ON approached GE’s Power Generation Services unit seeking a solution that would enable the Trapani plant to operate within new regional emissions limits. Once the site’s new configuration is complete, the project will position Trapani to help fortify the region’s grid continuity, while offering opportunities for local community and industry development.
“This project will revamp Trapani’s two gas-fired units by upgrading and partially replacing some primary turbine equipment,” said Antoñanzas. “Once complete, the upgrade will enable our site to benefit from enhanced capacity, higher efficiency and lower impact on the environment.”
Gibelli emphasized the importance for power providers to operate in compliance with the region’s increasingly stringent environmental requirements saying, “The Lombardy Region considers research and development in power generation critical to achieving sustainable development and superior competitiveness of its manufacturing ecosystem. Lombardy is committed, as part of Project TREND, to support initiatives that target energy savings and power generation through innovative energy sources. We appreciate GE’s commitment to investing in flexible and efficient technologies that enable our region’s power providers to reduce their emissions footprint.”
“In Italy’s current power market, utilities are seeking solutions that deliver more efficiency, flexibility and cost-effective operation of their existing assets,” said Mario Cincotta, regional general manager for GE Energy. “Italian customers operate in an electricity market and regulatory landscape that is one of the most advanced in Europe in terms of environmental protection and emissions requirements. Given the complexity and broad scope of this project, E.ON expressed its confidence in GE’s technological expertise and partnership to evaluate and execute its upgrade solution.”
DLN technology helps power plant operators meet or exceed emerging regulatory requirements in Europe and around the world. DLN solutions also enable operation at lower loads during off-peak periods, consuming less fuel and helping to reduce plant operating costs. This technology builds on decades of GE innovation in combustion technology, with more than 700 GE DLN combustors having compiled 23 million hours of operation on nearly 800 units worldwide.
The project will begin in the third quarter of 2012 and is scheduled to be completed in 2013.
GE selected to upgrade turbines at E.ON gas-fired power plant in Italy