Nigeria deploys GE’s natural gas turbines

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GE’s Distributed Power business (GE) is supplying Genesis Electricity’s driven project company, GEL Utility Limited, with three 25 MW, trailer-mounted, TM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbines to generate uninterrupted power at Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.’s  state oil refinery at Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

The installation by GEL Utility Limited of GE’s mobile gas turbines at the Port Harcourt Refining Co. (PHRC) facility will ensure the country’s largest oil refinery has the power it needs to overcome chronic grid outages and return to full capacity for refining.

Up to now, grid outages have reduced PHRC’s output to 30 percent of its total maximum capacity of 210,000 barrels per day. The outages and other factors have forced Nigeria to import large volumes of refined petroleum products to meet its domestic needs.

To help address these issues, Genesis Electricity Limited, an independent power producer and one of the owners of GEL Utility Limited, signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with NNPC in November 2013 for the installation of GE’s TM2500+ units at the 49-year-old refinery. The TM2500+ gas turbines will provide both the baseload and backup power to support refinery operations. The agreement also includes the future modernization of Nigeria’s other two refineries.

GE, through its Sales & Project Finance (S&PF) group, acted as a catalyst and differentiator to take the project post execution of the power purchase agreement with NNPC to financial close. GE S&PF worked with GEL Utility Ltd, Genesis, Engro Powergen Ltd. (one of the equity holders) and other project participants to structure and arrange the project’s equity, senior and sub-debt. It is the first-ever non-recourse project financing for power plants in Nigeria.

The three TM2500+ units will enter commercial operation in August 2014, giving PHRC the power it needs to return to full capacity. As a result, Nigeria will be able to drastically reduce its use of imported refined fuel products.

In support of local content requirements and reflecting GE’s long-term commitment to promoting workforce development opportunities in countries where the company operates, GE is training local engineers to operate and manage the refinery’s TM2500+ units and also has an in-country service and maintenance workshop to service the units.

GE’s TM2500+ gas turbine is capable of providing ISO-rated 31 MW of fast and reliable on-site generating capacity. The system can be used to provide utilities with a “baseload bridge” to support permanent power installations; backup power to support natural disaster relief efforts; or for plant shutdowns or equipment maintenance. The fuel-flexible system can use either natural gas or liquid-distillate.

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June 2015
Volume 19, Issue 6

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