A recent online survey of power industry professionals from across the globe found that more than 65 per cent of those polled believe that gas turbine lubrication maintenance has a significant effect on their company’s profitability.

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Earlier this year Credit Suisse estimated gas fired power plants would make up about 25 per cent of global capacity additions in the next five years, boosting orders for gas turbines by 50 per cent to 63 GW.

More recently, at the launch of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) latest edition of its World Energy Outlook, Fatih Birol, IEA’s chief economist said “we are entering a golden age for gas, which will make gas markets much less challenging”.

The IEA forecasts that global consumption of natural gas will catch up with coal by 2035, with unconventional gas resources, such as shale gas and coal-bed methane, playing a pivotal role.

Clearly it is no exaggeration to say that the future of the gas fuelled power sector is looking extremely positive.

To explore this power generation sector in a bit more detail, Power Engineering International magazine, working with Shell Lubricants[2], recently conducted an online research survey. Power industry professionals from right across the globe were quizzed on where they believe the sector is headed, and on what opportunities and threats exist for the industrial sector’s development.

Approximately half of the respondents were directly involved in the maintenance of gas turbines, either in a decision-making/managerial capacity or as a direct maintenance operative. Thus, the survey also explored the industry’s perception of the importance of an effective lubrication regime in the efficient operation of a gas turbine, as well as determining the impact on overall plant productivity.

We present the research’s main findings on the following pages.

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