Multinational conglomerate GE is aware of the pressures faced by power producers, especially utilities, to improve efficiency and productivity within their steam plants.
For South Africa, regular maintenance to major upgrades and retrofits of utility power plants and, in particular, the boilers, is one of the main critical components which enables the production of reliable, stable and more efficient power generation to ensure the lights are kept on.
“We are supporting many utilities around sub-Saharan Africa and the world with adapting their power plants with boiler technologies, solutions and maintenance practices to improve reliability, reduce operating costs and emission,” says GE Steam Power sub-Saharan Africa CEO Lee Dawes.
Through advanced materials and metal coatings for pressure parts, GE has a proven track record in improving reliability, with products such as Amstar 888 thermal spray cladding, which prevents boiler tube erosion and corrosion and costly downtime from boiler tube leaks or failures.
Over the past couple of years, GE has made a concerted effort to help improve environmental and legislated emissions limits by reducing nitrogen oxide emissions from boilers using GE’s advanced ultra low nitrogen oxide burners and novel Umbrella-SNCR technology and particulate emissions using GE’s Switched Integrated Rectifier 4 high frequency power supply equipment. These technologies have been vital in extending the lifetime of power plants globally.
With 30% of the global installed base of boilers coming from GE, the company’s engineers and field employees benefit from the return of experience to continuously improve its solutions and know-how.
“Just recently, we introduced – at Africa Utility Week – our latest proven technology: The Plasma Ignitor system that allows operators to reduce the operation cost by reducing support fuel for startups but also to enhance the flexibility of the plant with low load flame stability. With quicker response from the installed base, we can ensure greater grid stability. On top of the hardware enhancement, we also invest in digital capabilities that brings greater efficiency, lower operating cost and higher flexibility,” says Dawes.
GE Steam Power is a leader in boiler technology and is the boiler original-equipment manufacturer to over 30% of Eskom’s fleet. Through continued innovation, GE develops energy technologies that power up the grid, providing electricity to millions of South Africans. To date, a third of the world’s electricity is supported by GE technology, while in South Africa, 80% of Eskom’s power stations have installed GE steam turbines.