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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In today’s market, where fuel prices are once again on the rise and environmental considerations are becoming increasingly important, power utilities need to operate their fleet so that they can get the best price for the electricity they produce,

This all begs the question, has ‘operational flexibility’ overtaken ‘efficiency’ as the main priority of a power plant operator? Not according to those polled, a resounding majority (61 per cent) said that plant efficiency and flexible operation were equally important in today’s marketplace.

Ronald Bakker, senior product application specialist at Shell says: “The power generation sector is clearly under increased pressure to perform, both in terms of efficiency and flexibility. This has been accentuated by the shift from state to private operators in many markets. In fact the results of this research are closely aligned with what we are already hearing from our customers around the world, and which has already been shaping our R&D focus to develop products that help improve both the efficiency and flexibility of operations.”

However, operating under high efficiency, and in a flexible manner, mean that these power plants are subjected to unprecedented stresses and strains. This makes having an effective maintenance strategy essential in ensuring a long, trouble-free operation life. Arguably one of the most important aspects of preventative maintenance, and one that is often overlooked in the grand scheme of things, is gas turbine lubrication.

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