Bahrain: GE unit wins Alba power plant contract

This win marks the first order for GE H-Class turbines in the Gulf, as well as the first use of H-Class turbines by the aluminum smelting industry in the world

NEWS, Business, Alba, Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), Aluminium smelter, Bahrain, GE, GE Power, HA gas turbines, Power plant

GE Power, a division of GE, has been awarded an order from Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) for a turnkey combined-cycle power plant, including three GE HA gas turbines, which will power the world’s largest single-site smelter.

This win marks the first order for GE H-Class turbines in the Gulf, as well as the first use of H-Class turbines by the aluminum smelting industry anywhere in the world.

GE also marks two additional milestones for its Power Services business with this win – its multiyear agreement (MYA) with Alba for a period of 16 years, which also represents the first MYA for HA gas turbines in the Gulf region.

Alba’s chief executive officer, Tim Murray, said: “GE and Gama Consortium have a proven track record when it comes to delivering world-class industrial projects in our region and around the world, and we are thrilled to work with them on this project. Alba is building the world’s largest single-site smelter, and we will utilise GE’s advanced HA technology to create the most efficient power station in Bahrain.”

GE and Gama, the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner, will together oversee the design, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of Power Station 5, a plant capable of generating 1,792 megawatts (MW).

Joe Mastrangelo, president and CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems, said: “GE has helped power the Gulf for more than three decades, and we’re very proud to work with Alba to now deliver greater innovation than ever before in this region. GE’s HA turbines are designed to power the world at unprecedented levels of efficiency, and this order will mark the first time that HA-level technology has been deployed anywhere in the Gulf. Further, the service agreement we’ve put in place will continue to strengthen Alba’s efficiency and reduce operating and fuel costs for many years to come.”

Alba’s Power Station 5 will also utilise GE’s Digital Power Plant software solutions, which have played a key role in unlocking the HA’s record-setting levels of efficiency. These solutions provide valuable predictive insights for higher reliability and optimization by utilising a digital plant control system and a new class of Predix applications.

For Alba, these capabilities enable an HA power plant to be custom configured and tuned for this complex industrial application where process stability and uninterrupted power are vital. These digital capabilities also increase the customers’ ability to run, adapt, and manage the plant for improved outcomes, the company said.

GE’s 16-year MYA will provide comprehensive coverage and risk-sharing mechanisms that cater to the advanced HA-class technology with Alba set to benefit from increased power capacity to support its smelter expansion with extended outage intervals. GE will provide maintenance coverage, onsite support personnel, digital remote support, emergency parts, as well as efficiency, output, and availability guarantees, it said.

The service agreement will also add to Alba’s operational efficiency by enabling it to potentially retire inefficient stations and place others on stand-by, it added.

In addition to three HA gas turbines, the combined-cycle project order includes three A651 steam turbines, three heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) and other equipment. GE’s industry-leading HRSG technology became part of the company’s portfolio in 2015 as a result of GE’s acquisition of Alstom Power in November 2015.

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