Changes in the GT services sector highlight Power-Gen activity

Virtually all of the 1200 or so exhibitors at Power-Gen last week offered promotional materials to capture the attention of the more than 19,000 industry professionals reported in attendance by PennWell, the event owner/organizer. The large majority of these materials were pedestrian in nature—announcements of new products/services, executive appointments, contract signings, orders, new facilities, etc.

Time constraints prevented the editors of CCJ ONsite from visiting about half of the exhibitors serving generating facilities powered by gas turbines. Of the companies the editors did get to spend some time with, four spoke about significant changes within their organizations that could impact the status quo in this industry sector. They are: Pratt & Whitney Power Systems (PWPS), Wood Group Gas Turbine Services (GTS), Chromalloy, and Camfil Farr Power Systems. In addition, product announcements considered by the editors as “significant” were made by Siemens Energy Inc and Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions.

Pratt & Whitney made three major announcements. They are summarized in the bulleted passages below.

• Strategic alliance with Wood Group GTS to jointly service the industrial gas turbine aftermarket. Specifically, GTS has been granted an exclusive 10-yr license for the sale and distribution of PWPS-manufactured combustion hardware, hot-gas-path (HGP) components, and high-technology repair services. The guarantee on parts availability helps GTS compete against the OEMs and other third-party providers of long-term service agreements. PWPS benefits by having a proactive partner with world-class maintenance capabilities to help keep its shops humming, while retaining the right to directly sell parts and repair services on a transactional basis.

Recall that PWPS and GTS have worked together successfully for years in the aero market. Their joint-venture company, Wood Group Pratt & Whitney, has service shops dedicated to the inspection, overhaul, and repair of FT4 and LM2500 engines. For the “F” technology market, PWPS President Peter Christman remarked, “The combination of PWPS’ engineering, new-part manufacturing and repair technology, and GTS’ service experience and risk-management strategies is a compelling proposition.”

• Development of the FT4000 Swiftpac®, based on one of the aviation industry’s most widely used aircraft engines—the PW4000 turbofan, which has more than 26-million hours of operating experience on the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 airframes. The FT4000 Swiftpac will be offered in 60- and 120-MW compact power blocks designed for simple-cycle, combined-cycle, or cogeneration service.

The new land-based package promises 41% efficiency without the complexities of intercooling. It features relies a modified core compressor and turbine from its aero parent—maintaining more than 90% parts commonality with the PW4170 and PW 4090 engines. Plus, it has a new LP compressor and power turbine, both designed for durability and enhanced onsite maintainability. An advanced airfoil design and variable geometry contribute to optimized performance. Wet compression is provided boost power output at ambient temperatures above ISO conditions.

An FT4000 prototype will be available in 2013, production units the following year.

• Strategic partnership with UK-based APR Energy plc to jointly address global temporary power needs and to increase the availability of mobile turbines. Executives noted that the partnership already has facilitated APR orders totaling 100 MW on a flexible delivery schedule. Under the terms of the global agreement, APR is the exclusive provider of PWPS’ FT8® Mobilepac® rental power solutions. The company also benefits from a 12-month warranty, five-year service agreement, and access to dedicated global support from the engine maker—including project management, engineering, and aftermarket resources.

The FT8 Mobilepac can be installed at a prepared site in eight hours and be producing 25 MW of emergency power within a day. The generating unit comes in two trailers, has dual-fuel capability, and can be connected to 50- or 60-Hz grids. The first trailer contains the gas turbine, electric generator, exhaust collector, diffuser, and engine lube-oil system; the second carries 15-kV switchgear, control system, operator panel, protective relays, batteries and charger, motor control center, and hydraulic start package.

 

Wood Group GTS was built through the acquisition of many companies offering specialized services for industrial gas turbines. Integration of such diverse resources is challenging and takes time. GTS’ goal of providing the industry a comprehensive O&M solution focused on equipment life-cycle cost reduction is now a reality, the editors were told at Power-Gen.

The final pieces of the “puzzle” fell into place with the acquisition of Dublin-based Shanahan Engineering at the end of 2009, the acquisition of Gas Turbine Efficiency Ltd (GTE) in November 2011, and the signing of the license agreement with PWPS described above. The Shanahan purchase provided GTS a geographic footprint in the eastern hemisphere and a closer working relationship with equipment OEMs, which is important for projects where new equipment is required. The EPC contractor also brought to Wood Group its plant commissioning and maintenance-service expertise.

HEADED EAST

Marcus Turner, a familiar face at user-group conferences both as CEO of Control Center LLC (one of the companies acquired by GTE) and as the chief marketing officer of Gas Turbine Efficiency, is the new VP sales for Asia/Pacific at Wood Group GTS. He will be relocating to Bangkok before the New Year. Turner’s new email address: marcus.turner@woodgroup.com.

That acquisition already has borne fruit. Wood Group expects to complete the conversion of two 7EA simple-cycle peakers in California to a 335-MW combined-cycle plant in the mid-2012 timeframe and it is under contract to build an 800-MW combined cycle in Israel powered by a dozen LM6000s.

The GTE acquisition expanded Wood Group’s capabilities in several areas, both in its power and oil and gas business segments. The company’s compressor cleaning solution is installed on more than 800 stationary gas turbines and has over 20-million hours of run-time; its ECOMAX™ automated engine tuning technology protects GTs against emissions excursions, lean blowouts, and excessive parts wear caused by high combustor dynamics; its skid-based fuel systems incorporate equipment and instrumentation to condition gas for combustion as well as to measure its flow and determine its composition; its fogging systems boost power output on hot days.

The PWPS agreement enabled GTS to enter the “F” technology market with comprehensive maintenance solutions complete with a long-term service contracts. Wood Group CEO Mark Papworth said the company’s “package provides a truly ‘independent’ and high-quality solution for F technology units to mitigate the technical and commercial risks of turbine operation.” He added that “We have a track record of service innovation and of lowering the cost of ownership for industrial gas turbines.”

Commercial success was only a heartbeat from the signing of the agreement with PWPS. On the last day of Power-Gen, Wood Group announced that it had inked a multi-million dollar deal with Associated Electric Cooperative Inc, Springfield, Mo, to manage its 7FA Dell Power Plant—a 2 x 1 7FA-equipped combined cycle (More on Dell). A long-term gas-turbine maintenance contract was part of the arrangement.

More specifically, GTS is responsible for care and custody of the plant, taking full responsibility for daily operations and routine maintenance, as well as performing all major maintenance services on the gas turbines and balance of plant—including supply of engine HGP parts, repairs, and field service. Wood Group also will install its ECOMAX automated tuning system to optimize GT performance.

Chuck Levey (PWPS) and Frank Avery (Wood Group GTS) consummate a strategic alliance to provide a comprehensive parts, services, and perfomance upgrades solution for the 7FA market

Today Wood Group GTS consists of four business units. Power Plant Services, headed by industry veteran Frank Avery, provides O&M, repair, and overhaul services for simple-cycle, cogeneration, and combined-cycle facilities. This unit is responsible for the operational performance and system reliability for its customers’ power generation assets. More than 20,000 MW of installed capacity worldwide currently is under contract.

Power Solutions, under the direction of Mark Dobler, operates like an EPC contractor to provide new, serviceable, and refurbished power generation packages and ancillary equipment. The third business unit manages the company’s business relationships with its joint-venture partners. Recall that GTS provides OEM-approved maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for aero engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce, Pratt & Whitney, and GE Energy. The fourth unit encompasses all businesses that do not fit in the first three—including aviation, steam turbines, and union field services.

In sum, GTS now is equipped to permit and build a plant and then manage and maintain it through decommissioning. Wood Group offers a similar bundle of services to the oil and gas industry.

Chromalloy is a global technology leader in advanced repairs, coatings, and replacement parts for critical components required in commercial-airline, military, and industrial gas turbine applications. The company has a history of developing innovative and proprietary coatings and processes that allow engines to achieve higher efficiencies by operating at higher temperatures.

Before the acquisition of Sequa Corp, Chromalloy’s parent, by The Carlyle Group in July 2007, the company focused on aircraft engines (on-wing and stationary) and had a relatively low profile on the frame side of the electric power industry. Chromalloy was characterized by many geographically dispersed manufacturing, coating, and repair facilities, several of which might be involved in a particular scope of work. At times, communication with at least some shops was challenging.

Armand F Lauzon Jr, who was appointed president of Chromalloy in 2008, overhauled business units and reorganized facilities to prepare the company for growth. Among his most visible and recent accomplishments, Lauzon dedicated a $30-million investment casting facility in Tampa in late 2010 and an adjacent $5-million ceramic core facility in 2011. Both plants are equipped to support F-class gas-turbine fleets. A new Engineering Center of Excellence recently opened in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla; it will do double duty as corporate headquarters.

Lauzon also established joint ventures and strategic partnerships in the aircraft engine and industrial turbine markets—primarily with OEMs and their customers. Last October, with Chromalloy positioned for success in the energy sector, Sequa announced that Lauzon had been promoted to CEO (he retains his position as CEO of Sequa Corp) and Carlo Luzzatto, a seasoned energy-industry executive, had been hired to “take Chromalloy to the next level.”

Luzzatto, an electrical engineer by education (Univ of Genoa, Italy), came to Chromalloy with experience in both the electric-power and oil and gas industries. He had business-unit leadership responsibilities at both Ansaldo Energia and GE. Straight-talking, relaxed, and confident, Luzzatto left no doubt during his presentation at Power Gen that he knows well Chromalloy’s businesses, customers, and prospects, and the challenges of the energy markets.

A primary goal is to grow Chromalloy’s business in the energy sector, which today is less than 20% of revenues. Objective is to increase that amount by 20% in 2012. Luzzatto stressed that Chromalloy was now a “total cycle” company, equipped to take new parts from the foundry to the engine. Perhaps his most interesting slide was one that estimated the global annual worth of service, repairs, and parts (but not upgrades) for all gas turbines in electric-power production at about $16 to $17 billion. A pie chart on that slide showed a typical breakdown in expenditures for an F-class gas turbine at 68% spare parts, 18% repairs, and 14% field service. Adding the first two percentages is indicative of Chromalloy’s potential.

Camfil Farr had a big-booth presence in the exhibit hall—a stand to both showcase new products for gas-turbine owner/operators and to introduce new salespeople. There are perhaps a dozen companies competing for your gas-turbine and generator air filter business. Difficult to differentiate a product and make a buck in that environment, as Camfil Farr knows well. If you thought of this company as a filter supplier, it’s time to rethink your impression.

The Camfil Farr representatives left no doubt they were solutions providers from the air inlet to the top of the stack and had the products and engineering capabilities to prove it. A lot of the company’s experience is European-based but a gas turbine is a gas turbine no matter where it is, the editors were told. Competitors for inlet and exhaust systems and enclosures are the OEMs and Braden Manufacturing LLC, the leading third-party supplier for this equipment.

Siemens had much to showcase in its two-story 40 x 50-ft booth—second largest in the exhibition. Most of the products had made the trip to Power-Gen previously. Perhaps of greatest interest to owner/operators of gas turbines in both the electric-power and oil and gas sectors was the company’s aggressive promotion of its 37-MW SGT-750 engine. It is one of nine gas turbines rated from 4 to 47 MW offered by the Energy Sector’s Oil & Gas Div. Recall that Siemens purchased these assets from Alstom in spring 2003. In the US, the Oil & Gas Div is headquartered in Houston.

The SGT-750, designed for both power generation (50 or 60 Hz) and gas compression (and other mechanical-drive applications) would compete with the LM6000, Frame 6B, and RB211. Distinguishing features include the following:

• A 13-stage horizontally split compressor with a 24:1 compression ratio and two rows of variable guide vanes for performance optimization.

• Two-stage turbine driver for the compressor.

• Mineral-oil-lubricated tilting-pad bearings.

• Can-annular combustion system with dry low-emissions burners (15 ppm NOx corrected to 15% O2). There are eight cans.

• Two-stage free turbine with a nominal speed of 6100 rpm.

• Core engine can be swapped-out for maintenance within 24 hours.

• Efficiency: 40% on natural gas.

• Exhaust flow: 250 lb/sec at 864F.

• Online performance monitoring and data analysis.

Siemens announced its first order for the SGT-750 at Power Gen. Purchaser is Wingas GmbH, a joint venture between BASF subsidiary Wintershall and Russia’s Gazprom. It will be installed in the landfall cogeneration station for the Nord Stream pipeline, Lubmin, Germany. The pipeline will link Europe with gas reserves in Siberia. Electric power will be fed to the grid, exhaust heat will be used to reheat the pipeline gas to the temperature required for distribution.

Siemens also announced that it is building a new combustion test center for gas turbines in Ludwigsfelde, about 10 miles south of Berlin. The 66-million-euro investment will allow the OEM to study and validate the combustion processes in gas turbines at its own test center. The goal is higher engine efficiency.

Emerson. Ever the leader, Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions introduced at its busy Power-Gen booth EDS Mobile, one of the electric-power industry’s first native applications for users of Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices. It uses standard Apple input gestures such as swipe, tap, drag, zoom, and automatic screen orientation. The motivation for EDS Mobile, says EPM President Bob Yeager, was “the opportunity to give our customers more flexibility in how they manage operations by offering our EDS technology on a mobile platform.”

EDS Mobile provides remote users a high-fidelity representation of what the operator sees in the control room. More specifically, EDS gathers information from control systems at a single unit or fleet of units, as well as from other enterprise systems, into one place, presenting near-real-time data such as read-only process diagrams, alarm lists, and trends. Historical data also can be accessed.

Using a widget menu, EDS Mobile also delivers key performance indicators (KPI), which can be customized to match customer metrics in the areas of fuel usage, plant availability, emissions, generation revenue, efficiency, and power factor. Each KPI icon contains multiple data points, enabling users to drill down to view detailed information and trends in near real time. To illustrate: CO2, CO, SO2, NOx, and opacity data can be viewed through the emissions widget.

The app was demonstrated on an iPad by an Emerson engineer who stressed that there were multiple firewalls between the source of the data and the viewer. Also, that by being read-only, it does not violate any security rules promulgated to date by the North American Electric Reliability Corp.

 

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