GE Launches World’s First 6B Repowering Gas Turbine Solution
GE’s Power Services business (NYSE: GE) 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% simple-cycle/25% combined-cycle
- Improving efficiency up to 5% 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, including in the Gulf region, 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 70’s 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% and efficiency increase of .5% 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+% increase in output, an 8% efficiency improvement and a 10+% 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.
GE Power supports the generation of up to half of the region’s electricity and has invested significantly in localized manufacturing including heavy duty gas turbines. From power plant solutions to heavy duty gas turbines, aero derivative gas turbines, steam turbines, generators, maintenance & repairs and training, GE Power delivers end-to-end capabilities to support the power sector.
GE provides knowledge, capacity building and training to empower the region’s workforce. Thirty percent of the Middle East and North Africa’s population is between the ages of 15 and 29. In the UAE, we’re partnering with the Mubadala Development Company to build local capacity by empowering local talent through trainings at our Leadership Acceleration for Business (LAB) initiative.
With 76 nationalities working in the region, GE proudly fosters diversity in the workforce. To accelerate the advancement of women, the Women’s Network, an affinity network at GE, creates opportunities for female employees to cultivate their leadership and business skills. GE is not just watching as the region realizes its future; we’re partnering to help build it.