Conglomerate helps company reduce power generation costs

9th June 2017

US-based multinational conglomerate corporation General Electric (GE) has announced an agreement with the world’s largest aluminium rolling company Hindalco Industries to upgrade generation equipment at its Renusagar Captive Power Plant, in Uttar Pradesh, India.

GE will modernise two steam turbines at the Renusagar plant, targeting turbine output increases of up to 4 MW each – improving the efficiency of the plant and extending the life of the units by up to 20 years. The upgrades will also lower the cost of production and improve reliability and availability at the plant.

Hindalco Industries COO Satish Jajoo says Hindalco is pleased to collaborate with GE, to show the feasibility of upgrading Hindalco’s existing steam turbines. He adds that this will increase output, efficiency and performance of Hindalco’s existing fleet of plants. The largest expense in aluminium manufacturing is power, which accounts for between 33% and 35% of the total cost per ton of aluminium manufacturing. The steam turbine modernisations provided by GE will increase Hindalco’s plant by up to 6% and reduce the cost of power generation by an estimated $15-million over five years.

GE Power India MD Ashok Ganesan, also leader of GE’s Powering Efficiency Centre of Excellence (COE), emphasises the relevance for an aluminium company like Hindalco, one of Asia’s primary aluminium companies, of reducing its cost of power generation. This, coupled with GE and Hindalco’s long-standing relationship spanning 30 years, makes GE “proud to use its “robust portfolio of hardware upgrades with breakthrough power generation capabilities to assist Hindalco in meeting its cost targets,” says Ganesan.

Global demand for primary aluminium is predicted to be strong, with estimations that it will grow at about 4.5% a year in the short- to medium-term. In India alone, aluminium demand is set for 6% to 8% growth a year. Ganesan added that India’s power generation sector is at a point in its evolution where renewables are being grown so as to rely less heavily on coal. To meet future challenges, upgrades and new technologies must be implemented to raise efficiency and the flexibility of coal-based power generation solutions, assist baseload generation and balance the power grid as renewables come on line, explains Ganesan. India is also in need of a comprehensive review of its subcritical technology dominated by coal-based power plants.

GE Power Efficiency COE
The COE showcases the ability to ensure real- time answers to modern power generation infrastructure. It brings together cross-business experts in GE’s energy businesses to apply a total plant hardware and software solution approach, to boost the efficiency of the world’s new and existing coal-fired power plants, and to significantly reduce their emissions.

GE’s recent ‘Ecomagination’ study found that existing coal plants have the ability to become 4% more efficient. More than half of this efficiency is attributed to turbine and boiler updates, and 1.5% to more efficiency application of innovative digital solutions. A 4% increase in average global coal-based power plant efficiency is estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 11%.