GE’s Power Services business said it is marking the 40th anniversary of its 6B gas turbine fleet by launching the company’s first 6B repowering solution.
GE also announced it has signed its first agreement for the solution with a global chemical company to repower three 6B gas turbines with the goal of saving significant amounts of fuel each year at its site in Asia. The announcements mark another example of GE’s continued commitment to investing in its mature fleets to keep them competitive.
“We’re excited to mark our 40th anniversary of the 6B fleet and unveil our new repowering solution,” said Scott Strazik, president & CEO of GE’s Power Services business. “This fleet is known for its dependability—a reputation earned with global fleet reliability of 98.4%, which is about 2% higher than the industry average and translates to approximately 17 more days of availability per year. At the same time, the 6B fleet has aged, and there’s growing demand to improve performance. Today’s announcement and our recent expansion of our Advanced Gas Path technology to the 6B fleet highlight our continuing investment in our mature fleets to help power producers and industrial operators remain competitive in today’s very dynamic marketplace.”
Part of GE’s Fleet360 platform of plant services solution, the new 6B repowering solution incorporates advanced F and H class technology to elevate the machine’s performance to leading levels for its class. The repowering consists of a full “flange-to-flange” upgrade of all major components, including the combustion system, hot gas path and compressor, and it transforms the 6B unit into a GE 6F.01 gas turbine, which is also available as a new unit.
The new 6B repowering upgrade, which fits into the existing 6B footprint, can advance performance in both gas turbine and combined-cycle operation by increasing turbine output up to 35% simple cycle/25% combined cycle. It can also improve efficiency up to 5% points in simple- and combined-cycle operations, the company said. GE said the repowering can achieve up to US$3 million in fuel savings per unit annually and achieve NOx emissions as low as 15 ppm.
The repower also extends the hot gas path inspection interval to 32 000 hours (from 24 000 hours) and major inspection interval to 64 000 hours (from 48 000 hours).
GE’s fleet spans more than 1150 6B turbines across all corners of the world, powering energy production facilities and industrial applications in segments such as petrochemical, oil and gas, exploration and the cement production. Today, over 900 6Bs are still in operation with 55% in continuous operation. The 6B fleet has hit many milestones since the first unit was shipped and installed at Montana-Dakota Utilities’ Glendive Power Plant 40 years ago.
“Our strong relationship with GE began in the ’70s with the first order for Frame 6 equipment,” said Darrin Holzer, Manager of Combustion Turbines & Wind Generation, Montana-Dakota Utilities. “Then, it continued with the shipment of its first 6B gas turbine in 1978, and now, 40 years later, we are still benefiting from the high reliability of GE’s proven gas turbine technology. Currently, this unit operates during peak periods—in conjunction with extreme hot and cold conditions when more power is needed. What we have benefitted from the most is the unit’s ability to adapt extremely well to the wide differences in temperature that are typical in Montana, that can span from -30 to 110 F degrees.”