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GE Launches World’s First 6B Repowering Gas Turbine Solution

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GE’s Power Services business is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its 6B gas turbine fleet by launching the world’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 and save significant amounts of fuel each year at its site in Asia. Today’s 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 percent, which is about 2 percent 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 total 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.

It’s capable of:

    Increasing turbine output up to 35 percent simple cycle/25 percent combined cycle.
    Improving efficiency up to 5 percentage points in simple- and combined-cycle operations.
    Achieving up to $3 million in fuel savings per unit annually.
    Achieving NOx emissions as low as 15 ppm.
    Extending 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).

6B Fleet milestones rhythm lasts 40 years
GE’s fleet spans more than 1,150 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 percent 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.”

Since its first installation at the Glendive plant, GE’s 6B fleet has accumulated more than 65 million operating hours. Some highlights include:

  • In 1991, GE introduces Dry Low NOx combustion technology on the 6B, marking a leap forward in low emissions operation—as low as 25 ppm NOx, along with more flexible operations through lower turndown and fuel options.
  • In 2000, new advancements help deliver better performance, including an output increase of 6 percent and efficiency increase of .5 percent to help global power producers stay competitive during a transitional period in the energy industry.
  • In 2009, GE launches the 6B Performance Improvement Package (PIP), featuring advances in materials, coatings, sealing and aerodynamics derived from its F-class technology to increase output and efficiency. Today, PIP is installed on 200+ units and it has become the standard configuration for new 6B gas turbines.
  • In 2011, GE completes the world’s first Flange-to-Flange upgrade one of its 6B units at the S.A. Industrious Celulosa Aragonese (SAICA) paper mill, a family-owned business in Spain. The solution delivered significant performance improvements including a 13+ percent increase in output, an 8 percent efficiency improvement and a 10+ percent increase in steam production.
  • In 2018, GE begins installing its industry-leading Advanced Gas Path (AGP) technology on three 6B gas turbines at Saudi Cement’s Hofuf power plant. This project marks the first AGP upgrade in the cement industry and the expansion of AGP technology to GE’s fifth fleet.

About GE
GE drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges: Energy, health, transportation the essentials of modern life. By combining world-class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today it leads new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfill GE’s mission and deliver for our customers. www.ge.com

About GE Power
GE Power is a world energy leader providing equipment, solutions and services across the energy value chain from generation to consumption. Operating in more than 180 countries, our technology produces a third of the world’s electricity, equips 90 percent of power transmission utilities worldwide, and our software manages more than forty percent of the world’s energy. Through relentless innovation and continuous partnership with our customers, we are developing the energy technologies of the future and improving the power networks we depend on today. For more information please visit www.ge.com/power, and follow GE Power on Twitter  and on LinkedIn.

About GE’s Power Services
GE’s Power Services, headquartered in Baden, Switzerland, delivers world-class service solutions for our customers across total plant assets and their operational lifetimes. This organization supports 2,800+ customers worldwide with an installed base of 28,000+ power generation assets across 90+ brands of power generation equipment and taps into the Industrial Internet to improve the performance of our solutions over the entire life cycle through the power of software and big data analytics. Follow on LinkedIn at GE’s Power Services or visit website at www.ge.com/power/services