The first GE 9HA gas turbine to be deployed in Russia has entered operation.

The 405 MW unit was fitted as part of a refit of the CHP-3 power plant in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan.

It has now doubled the plant’s overall energy output from 385 MW to 790 MW and tripled the electricity generation in combined-cycle operation.

And the upgrade now means that Tatarston will no longer have to import electricity and will instead become self-sufficient in energy.

GE said the 9HA.01 at the plant “will play a key role in providing additional generating capacity to satisfy increasing electrical demand from the region’s growing industrial businesses”.First GE 9HA gas turbine in Russia goes operational

The upgrade project was originally announced in 2014 and involved replacing existing gas-fired boilers and increasing the plant’s total combined heat and power efficiency to 80 per cent.

GE worked with Gama Power Systems Engineering and Contracting to deliver a turnkey solution for operator, TGK-16, a member of the TAIF group of companies.

The plant in Kazan is one of several worldwide that now feature GE’s 9HA gas turbine, including EDF’s Bouchain facility in France that set a world-record as the most efficient combined-cycle plant at 62.22 per cent in 2016.

TAIF general director Albert Shigabutdinov said: “Today’s commissioning is the final step in the comprehensive modernization of the Kazan CHP-3 power plant. Installing this gas turbine has doubled the plant’s overall energy output and tripled electricity generation in combined-cycle operation, providing an additional reserve of thermal capacity to provide heating for customers, including the people of Kazan, at the lowest tariffs in the Republic of Tatarstan.

“Modernizing this power plant is a great example of close cooperation among all players in Tatarstan’s power industry, thanks to which Tatarston will cease being a net importer of electricity and become self-sufficient.”

GE Vice-Chairman John Rice said at today’s opening ceremony: “Tatarstan is a fast-growth region and with that comes increased need for reliable, efficient power. We are proud to be a partner with TAIF in the modernization of the region’s infrastructure using our advanced technologies.”

“Russia’s most efficient thermal power plant will help ensure a reliable and sustainable electricity supply for the people of Kazan for the next phase of economic development.”

The HA turbine is the result of $2bn in R&D investment from GE, which said that the unit’s “advanced digital control system provides exceptional operational efficiency with fast ramping and high-efficiency partial-load capabilities. In addition, the turbine features an innovative combustion chamber that can significantly reduce harmful emissions and lower environmental impact.”

GE has more than 1600 employees working in Russia/CIS, with regional headquarters in Moscow.

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