Combined cycle power plants are cost effective – Siemens boss

29 June 2017

Combined cycle power plants are cost effective – Siemens boss

The Country Manager of Siemens Ghana, Edmund Acheampong, has called on Independent Power Producers (IPP) in Ghana to move away from building simple cycle plants to operating combined cycle power plants as a solution to improve their profitability.

According to Mr. Acheampong, a combined-cycle power plant uses both a gas and a steam turbine together to produce up to 50 percent more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant.

In an interview with the B&FT, the Country Manager of Siemens Ghana, Edmund Acheampong, said combined cycle plants are the best option available as they are secure and reliable and have a limited impact on the environment.

He said: "If you have a combined cycle plant, your efficiency in some areas allows you to put a steam turbine at the end. Without adding any fuel, you are not buying any more fuel or gas hence, your cost will just be capital cost for securing the gas turbine. If you are looking for efficiency in generation and saving cost, that is the easiest way to get it.

Thermal plant which uses gas and light crude that is the way to go. Because with that you can put a steam turbine at the end and improve your efficiency tremendously."

He pointed out that the time has come for the country to ensure that power producers, especially the private or independent ones, make use of innovation and sustainable methods in power generation to reduce drastically the losses from generation, transmitting and distribution.

"If you can imagine a technology that allows you to see the parameters by making it possible to drive your car from point A to B, make it in real time, do something about it and still give you an analysis of the condition of your car.

So, for us, we have technology that can look at the operational conditions of the entire power plant system. This is because siemens produces turbines for the generators, control systems to make sure the operation of the entire system is optimised. We also have diagnostic systems that can look at the power condition, check the temperature to know if the output is degrading or not," Mr. Acheampong tod the B&FT.

The company has people located remotely outside of a plant who monitor and can communicate with the power plant staff, for the purpose of identifying problems.

In today's complex power market, Siemens is a strong partner capable of providing competitive power plant solutions which offers both open cycle and combined cycle power plants turnkey from a single source tailored for the customer's needs.

As one of the world's leading OEM-EPC providers, Siemens has 130 years of experience in the construction of turnkey power plants.

Siemens power plants operate at extremely high efficiency levels, low emissions and state-of-the art technology, as demonstrated by more than 1,500 Siemens power plants currently in commercial operation worldwide.

With one of Ghana's paramount constraints to economic growth being unreliable and inadequate supply of electric power, Mr. Acheampong, said: "For me, in the end quality sells and Siemens comes out with good quality while our technology is available in many aspects of the industry. Regardless of who the main contractor is, our technology is available and so we can come in and supply our technology for the needed solution."

He added that; "chances are that, an engineer designing a power plant will look at what kind of technology is needed, and Siemens is likely to come in. We are confident that we will be looked at because we are major player in the industry."

Track record

In June 2015 Siemens signed an €8 billion contract with the Egyptian government for high-efficiency natural gas-fired power plants and wind power installations that was to boost Egypt's power generation capacity by more than 50 percent compared to the current installed base.

The project, which is almost complete, was to add an additional 16.4 gigawatts (GW) to Egypt's national grid to support the country's rapid economic development and meet its growing population's demand for power.

The company has also received an order for a new combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) at King's Lynn power station in Norfolk, United Kingdom (UK), owned by British energy and services company Centrica. The gas-fired power plant will consist of one unit in a single-shaft configuration and deliver a total capacity of approximately 380 megawatts (MW) to the grid. This is sufficient to provide electricity for approximately 380.000 British households.

The agreement includes the installation and long-term servicing of a gas turbine, the servicing of a generator and a steam turbine, as well as the modernization of the existing instrumentation and control systems.

About Siemens

The mother company of Siemens Ghana, Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich), is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years.

Information available to the B&FT shows that the company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization not limited to the telephonic industry widely known by the Ghanaian public.

One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of gas and steam turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry.

Ghana's power situation

Ghana has 2,930 megawatts (MW) of installed generation capacity, including 1,380 MW of hydro generation, (of which nearly 700 MW is actually available) and 1,550 MW of thermal generation capacity, (of which 890 MW is from independent power producers [IPPs]).

Actual availability rarely exceeds 2100 MW, leaving around 400 MW of unmet demand on a daily basis, serving a population of 27.4 million that is growing at 2.3 percent per year.

To address the electricity supply constraint, the Government of Ghana (GOG) added nearly 600 MW of generation capacity in late 2015/early 2016, by bringing online four power projects: Karpower barge (225 MW); Ameri Power (250 MW); TICO steam turbine (110 MW); and BXC solar (20 MW).

A number of private and public-sector projects are also in the advanced stages of construction (about 750 MW of dependable capacity).

In light of this, the GoG is reviewing the need for additional power generation capacity in the next five years.

Source: Business and Financial Times