General Electric (GE) Power Services business has signed a multi-year service agreement (MYA) to upgrade equipment at Ubungo Power Plant in Dar es Salaam, increasing its efficiency and capacity by 10megawatts.
The plant which provides nearly 25 per cent of the power in Tanzania is owned by Songas, a company that generates electricity using gas from the Songo Songo Island gas fields, off the coast of southern Tanzania.
According to Songas Limited’s Managing Director, the company has been working with GE to ensure high performance of the six gas turbines it has been operating at Ubungo since 2004, which include four LM6000 from GE.
Aeroderivative gas turbines provide the ability to frequently and rapidly ramp up to meet load and demand fluctuations- a concern for grids powered by renewable energy. They also offer the reliability and flexibility needed to bring power to people around the globe that otherwise may not be able to access it.
GE’s LM6000 aeroderivative technology provides great flexibility with up to 41 per cent simple cycle efficiency of 56 per cent combined cycle, fast-start of as little as five minutes from cold iron, fast ramping and ability to cost effectively cycle multiple times per day.
The LM6000 family has more operating hours than any other aeroderivative gas turbine greater than 40 megawatts.
The eight-year agreement encompasses GE’s Fleet360 platform of total plant solutions which will ensure the long-term, reliable operation of the power plant.
GE upgrades of three gas turbines is expected to increase their output from 38 megawatts to 43 megawatts each and reach output levels of up to 46 megawatts with GE’s optional SPRINT technology.
The agreement also includes maintenance and repairs of the turbines which will help Songas improve the Ubungo Power Plant’s efficiency by three per cent to 41 per cent.
Elisee Sezan, General Manager, GE Power Services for Sub-Saharan Africa said, “As the Government of Tanzania continues to pursue the expansion of generation capacity and extend the capability of its power grid, upgrading existing power plants to improve operation and efficiency is a must.”
Less than 45 per cent of Tanzania’s nearly 50 million population is connected to the national grid, reports the World Bank.
The Government has embarked on a sector reform plan aimed at expanding power generation capacity by up to 10,000 MW by 2025, leveraging on its commercially available natural gas reserves to meet increasing energy demands driven by an economy that is expected to continue growing at an annual rate of 7 per cent in 2017 and 2018.