General session features Kimble, OEM, depot presentations
Jon Kimble, president of the Western Turbine Users Inc, opened the organization’s 21st Annual Conference at the Palm Springs Convention Center by restating for the hundreds in attendance—about 30% of them first-timers—WTUI’s mission: To share technical information to advance the operability and reliability of the General Electric line of aeroderivative gas turbines.
He quickly acknowledged the contributions of the officers, directors, and break-out session chairs. Next, Kimble thanked the OEM-authorized repair depots for working closely with the all-volunteer group to develop a content-rich program sure to save owner/operators countless thousands of dollars in future maintenance expenditures.
With time at a premium, the president presented a summary of the annual financial report and acknowledged the decades of fine work by the dedicated and diligent treasurer, Wayne Kawamoto.
One of the most important items on the agenda of the General Session was the election of three new board members. The three-year terms of Mark Breen, Tony Skonhovd, and Harry Scarborough had ended and they were replaced by David Merritt of Kings River Conservation District, Ed Jackson of Missouri River Energy Services, and Rudy Barrett of Capital Power Corp.
Presentations by representatives of the five GE-authorized depots followed a review of the three-day technical agenda. The depot speakers were less entertaining and more focused on business than they had been the last few years. Perhaps that was a result of GE’s decision to become more competitive in LM overhaul activities and boost its market share.
Richard Ison, who will soon step up from his current position as General Manager of ANZ Gas Turbines to the executive suite, opened by offering his company’s experience to assist owner/operators challenged by the loss of key personnel through retirements. Ison announced that John Callesen, well-known to LM veterans, would replace him as GM under a new company logo.
Ison also said that ANZGT had teamed up with Consolidated Asset Management Services (CAMS), Bakersfield, Calif, to better serve the heavy concentration of LM users in the US.
A company spokesperson opened by thanking the world community for its support during Japan’s recent tragedy; he added that senior management was unable to participate in this year’s conference because of commitments at home to assist in the recovery.
Eiji Okuyama, manager of the sales and marketing department in IHI’s Power Systems Div, is being promoted to VP of US activities which include a business office in New York City; the Los Angeles Service Center operating under Ken Udea, stationed engineer; and a recently announced affiliation with Reed Services in Wyoming, perhaps best known for its inspections of LM engines.
A promotional video discussed the company’s shop capabilities and offered short presentations by overhaul foremen and a customer testimonial. The company has an agreement with the OEM to package LM-series gas turbines and to date has provided more than 80 units worldwide. IHI has a Level 4 depot qualified to service LM2500 and LM6000 engines.
Dale Goehring, director of projects, updated the group on its facilities, including a Level 4 depot in Calgary and overhaul centers in Houston; Bakersfield, Calif; and Syracuse, NY. He said the company’s new Calgary shop, 225,000 ft2 and triple the size of the existing facility, would be opening May 1. One bay will accommodate a dozen LM6000 stands. A new test facility is scheduled for operation in 1Q/2012.
Goehring stressed TCT’s commitment to quality and safety excellence (personnel have signed personal safety contracts). He said the company had three dozen experienced service personnel in the field worldwide.
The group was told that the company had a busy year in 2010: Experienced field service personnel were hired, a shop was opened in New Braunfels, Tex, and test cells were upgraded. New Braunfels is equipped to perform Level 2 overhauls on LM6000s and 2500s; the company has a Level 4 depot for LM2500, LM2500+, and 6000 in Germany. A new service center is under construction in Thailand. MTU is upgrading its inspection capabilities and is offering modifications to provide water injection for NOx control.
The company is equipped to overhaul and repair LM2500, LM6000, and LMS100 engines and also to manufacture several components for the OEM—including complete intermediate-pressure-turbine and power turbine modules for the LMS 100 in Brindisi.
In the last few years, the company has installed new equipment to expand its special repair capabilities. Avio is especially proud of its test cells and work areas for component cleaning, surface treatments, and nondestructive examination.
GE ramps ups service, overhaul capabilities for LM engines
Dave VanderShee provided an overview of GE Aero Energy’s efforts to upgrade its service and overhaul capabilities for the LM2500, LM5000, and LM6000 engines—a market that the OEM shares with both the licensed and unlicensed depots.
Mentioned were the development of Level 2 service centers in Kaluga, Russia, Lincoln, UK, and Perth, Australia (2012); the first Level 4 facility in Latin America scheduled for ribbon-cutting in September 2011; expansion of test cell capabilities in Houston; and a build-out of the Monitoring and Diagnostic Center serving the aero community.
VanderShee said there were more than 900 LM engines in North America and that the company had four-score lease engines available. He added that the company was approaching 300 service reps worldwide, 70 of those in the US and Canada.
University of Texas at Austin LM2500+G4 installation
The final presentation of the morning was by Jack Kelly, project manager for Jacobs Energy & Power Solutions. He discussed design details on what Kelly said was the world’s first 60-Hz LM2500+G4 installation. The landmark project replaced a gas turbine/heat-recovery steam generator installed in 1965 at a generating complex that has supplied power to the campus for 75 years. Jacobs was the owner’s engineer. HRSG for the cogeneration plant was designed and built by Express Integrated Technologies LLC.
The facility, which started up late in 2009, operates about six months of the year. A similar cogen system—G4 with Express HRSG—is in the final stages of construction at nearby Texas A&M.
ENGINE-SPECIFIC BREAKOUT SESSIONS
The most valuable information for owner/operators at a Western Turbine meeting is disseminated during the exclusive breakout sessions conducted for the LM2500, LM5000, LM6000, and LMS100. This year there will be five sessions for each engine over the three days of the conference—two were on Monday. Sessions run from half an hour to three and a half hours in length.
Some sessions are only for users, others involve users and the depots or the OEM, or the users, depots, and the OEM meet together. Notes are taken during each session by President/CEO Sal DellaVilla and his colleagues at Strategic Power Systems Inc, Charlotte. This material is posted in the user-only portion of the Western Turbine website at www.wtui.com after review for accuracy by the breakout session chairs. The editors of CCJ ONsite interviewed the SPS note-takers to develop the report that follows.