GE Nets Order For Turbine Upgrade In Japan

Company will upgrade existing GT26 MXL2 unit to latest GT26 HE technology, improving plant output and efficiency

GE announced a third order for its GT26 HE gas turbine upgrade with Japanese power producer JFE Steel Corp. (JFE) at its Chiba Power Plant in Japan.

GE will upgrade JFE’s existing GT26 MXL2 unit to GE’s latest and most advanced solution introduced on a GT26 gas turbine: the HE (high efficiency) upgrade. This solution will provide JFE Steel with GE’s most advanced performance improvements for an F-class combined-cycle gas turbine, the company said.

“We are proud to be building on the strength of our long-standing relationship with JFE to provide the most advanced technologies to power communities in Japan,” said Ramesh Singaram, president and CEO of GE Gas Power in Asia. “We look forward to continuing our successful single-service provider support of JFE in meeting their gas plant as-a-system needs.”

Japan’s electricity segment continues to drive deregulation while experiencing a decline in power demand, leading energy producers to focus on delivering a stable power supply for Japan’s industrial operators. As a power producer, JFE said it continually focuses on modernizing its aging energy infrastructure —by enhancing power output and efficiency.

Two years ago, GE supported the modernization of JFE’s GT26 gas turbine in Chiba, implementing the MXL2 gas turbine upgrade, effectively increasing the output of the turbine by up to 60 megawatts (MW).

This year, JFE decided to implement GE’s latest GT26 HE technology to continue to improve Chiba power plant’s efficiency and reach new levels of performance and profitability—including an increase in output and efficiency at varying loads. In addition, Chiba power plant’s reliability will be enhanced, while the plant output is expected to increase by more than 10 MW, with efficiency increasing by more than 1%.

“Our GT26 HE solution represents an innovative milestone in the evolution of GE’s gas power technology. By combining technologies from both F- and H-Class fleets, we are helping to improve JFE’s competitive position in the Japanese energy marketplace,” said Amit Kulkarni, head of Large Block Utility (F/H) Product Segment in GE Gas Power. “The upgrade is GE’s first Asia order for the GT26 HE and the third since its introduction in the market some months ago. We are excited by the expected additional power and efficiency that this solution will provide for JFE, as well as the momentum and demand for the GT26 HE upgrade globally.”

The GT26 HE upgrade was introduced in 2019. It is powered partly through advanced technology from GE’s flagship HA gas turbine, the largest and most efficient in the industry, with additive manufactured parts and innovations in aerodynamics, material science and combustion dynamics. GE said it embeds technology breakthroughs across every major component of the GT26 frame—turbine, compressor and combustor—to take turbine performance to a new level, significantly decreasing fuel costs while increasing full-load output and enhancing reliability.

The upgrade is expected to be completed in Baden, Switzerland and shipped to Chiba, Japan, for installation in 1Q 2021 and is expected to be operational by mid-2Q 2021.

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