28 June 2002 – Alstom has been awarded a contract to supply a turnkey power plant based on the GT10B gas turbine to Enercal, the national utility of New Caledonia, a French protectorate in the South Pacific.

The plant will be located on the outskirts of the capital, Noumea, where it will double the capacity of the existing Centrale de Ducos power station, to meet the island’s standby and peak power requirements. Order value is in the region of €13m.

Consortium leader for the project is Alstom Australia, who are providing the balance of plant, comprising the external auxiliary systems, transformers and civil works. The heart of the plant, the GT10B gas turbine, together with its auxiliary systems, will be delivered from the Alstom facility in Sweden. Under the terms of the contract, the GT10B will provide 23 MW electrical capacity in base load, 24 MW at peak load, and will run on kerosene. It is a standard turbine, equipped with extra water injection for NOx reduction and power augmentation.

The tiny island of New Caledonia is home to more than 20 per cent of the world’s known nickel reserves. Doniambo, north of Noumea, is the location of a nickel smelter, residual heat from which is currently used for electricity generation for own consumption, the excess being sold to the grid. This smelter is scheduled for extension, and by the end of 2003 will cease to export to the grid, consuming all its own generated electricity. This circumstance, combined with a 6 per cent annual increase in public electricity demand, has prompted Enercal’s decision to invest in new plant.

The island’s electricity is supplied by a number of interdependent plants at intervals along the coast, using a variety of power sources, from diesel to hydro to coal. The new GT10B plant will come on line in September 2003, and will initially be used in semi-base load, i.e. approximately 4000-5000 hours per year. This will continue throughout 2004, when it will go over to peak load standby operation, allowing a coal plant, currently being extended, to take over the base load. The plant will be run by remote control from Enercal’s control centre in downtown Noumea.

The Centrale de Ducos power station will operate the same GT10B gas turbine as the Quarantine plant in Southern Australia, recently commissioned to the satisfaction of the customer. This 95 MW plant, inaugurated in April by the S. Australian premier, after a very short delivery time, is based on four GT10B gas turbines.