Powering Up for Iraq’s Summer Heat
Although temperatures are in the teens in Baghdad this time of year, by summer, daytime highs will be in the mid-40s, putting huge demand on electricity supply. That’s why early summer is the deadline for delivery of a first-of-its-kind power plant upgrade program by GE that will add incremental power – by government accounts as much as 700 MW – to Iraq’s national electricity grid.
The “Power Up Plan,” recently announced by GE and Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity, comprised of technological solutions and upgrade projects to existing ministry power plants, is being implemented on a scale never before undertaken anywhere in the world, and includes GE’s for heavy duty gas turbines and Heavy Fuel Oil Conversions.
GE, which is running the project as a turnkey solution for ministry, has begun shipping parts and initiated onsite work at the power plants to meet the deadline and supply much-needed power during the peak power demand in mid-summer.
The Advanced Gas Path solution helps power plants significantly scale up power-generating capacity, while also minimizing operational downtime during the process. The solution features hardware design and materials improvements to the components of GE’s gas turbine “hot gas path” system. By combining these hardware enhancements with GE’s advanced controls software, the gas turbine can deliver enhanced performance and the gas turbine power plants can operate more efficiently.
The Heavy Fuel Oil Conversions will improve power output by allowing converted plants to use heavy fuel oil for fuel, rather than natural gas, which faces tighter availability. With this added fuel option, converted plants can better maximize their electricity-generating capacity.
“We are committed to strengthening our infrastructure to meet the growing demand for electricity in Iraq, particularly during peak summer months, including the upcoming summer season,” said Mussab Al Mudaris, Ministry of Electricity Spokesman.
Today, there are more than 130 GE turbines installed across the country. For more than 40 years, GE has worked with Iraqi partners and customers in the field of power generation, oil and gas, healthcare, aviation and transportation, across three offices, in Baghdad, Erbil and Basra.