A New ‘First’ for First-of-a-Kind Bhikki Power Plant
The Bhikki Power Plant in Pakistan has just chalked up its latest “first.” This time it’s the first fire and synchronization of the second GE 9HA gas turbine at the plant.
Both are critical milestones towards the completion of the project. First fire occurs when a new gas turbine is switched on and run on fuel at the power plant site, while synchronization refers to when the unit is first connected to the national grid.
The first 9HA unit had earlier achieved first fire on 13th February, 2017, less than 17 months after the project’s announcement. When put into combined-cycle configuration, the plant will generate 1,180 megawatts, the equivalent power needed to supply ~2.5 million Pakistani homes.
Other firsts at the plant: Pakistan is the first country in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and South Asia region to use the 9HA record-setting technology.
The plant earns first place for speed as well, as Bhikki represents the fastest construction of a power plant of its size in Pakistan’s history. “The speed with which the Government of Punjab, HEI and GE’s teams have been setting up the Bhikki Power Plant is to be commended,” stated the Honourable Prime Minister, Mian Nawaz Sharif. “This is the fastest construction of a gas power plant of its size in Pakistan’s history and was only possible because of the commitment of all involved. The project is a critical component of our strategy to expand access to electricity to over 90 percent of the country’s population and will benefit millions of Pakistanis.”
EDF’s facility in Bouchain, France that is powered by the same 9HA technology as Bhikki recently set a global record for being the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant, with a 62.22% efficiency rating.
The Bhikki power project reflects GE’s long-term commitment to powering Pakistan and fueling progress by helping the Government of Pakistan and other customers meet the increasing demand for power for domestic, municipal and industrial use through efficient, reliable, affordable and sustainable power generation and digital industrial technologies.
GE entered an agreement to provide two high-efficiency 9HA.01 gas turbines and associated equipment to HEI for the Bhikki Combined Cycle Power Plant in September 2015. HEI is providing engineering, procurement and construction services for the facility.
GE is a committed, long-term supporter of Pakistan’s development, working to help government and private sector customers address their challenges and to meet the country’s development needs, not only in power generation, but also in transportation, aviation, healthcare and oil and gas. Today, GE-built technologies can generate up to 25% of Pakistan’s electricity through various sources, including gas, wind and other sources