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Turkey poised for first digital power plant

A deal between GE and Gama Enerji is bringing industrial cloud software to a Turkish power plant

Credit: GE

GE and Turkey’s Gama Enerji have signed an agreement to operate the plant, marking the first use of industrial cloud software applications in a power plant in Turkey to improve efficiency and productivity.

Gama’s 840 MW Ic Anadolu gas-fired combined-cycle plant in the city of Kirikkale will this year be fitted with GE’s Asset Performance Management and Operations Optimization digital solutions using Predix, the operating system for the industrial internet.

Sitki Serifeken, Gama Enerji’s general manager said: “We’re proud to be the first digital power plant adopter in Turkey.

The digital deal builds on a multi-year agreement signed in 2016 between GE and Gama to provide planned and unplanned maintenance services for two GE 9F.05 gas turbines and a GE D11 steam turbine.

The two companies have also collaborated for the past 15 years and Serifeken added that “GE’s enhanced total plant capabilities, advanced digital competencies and our history together give us great confidence in these new solutions to help us reduce maintenance costs and increase operational efficiency in the plant furthermore”.

The digital solutions are expected to provide Gama’s plant operators with greater insight to predict and diagnose asset failures with enough lead time to effectively plan maintenance schedules with more reliability, while ensuring high availability and a steady revenue flow from plant operations.

“Unplanned outages in power plants correspond to 3-8 per cent of a plant’s capacity” says Murat Demirel, GE’s Power Services’ Eastern Europe and Turkey general manager.

“GE’s Asset Performance Management solution will bring a significant efficiency boost through early detection of such outages at power plants currently using this solution. We estimate these solutions have the potential to save up to $3 million annually through early detection of outages.”

GE says the Asset Performance Management and Operations Optimization software applications which will be installed at the Gama plant can provide “numerous operational benefits such as improved reliability and availability via enhanced predictivity, accurate performance monitoring and forecasting capability, dispatch optimization via better visibility into plant capability, and lower production costs and asset generation forecasting capability for improved asset dispatch”.

In an interview with Power Engineering International last year, Mete Maltepe, general manager of GE Power in Turkey, said that Turkey “is in our top 10 or 12 countries in the world for power – it’s a significant country for us”.

Istanbul is now the headquarters for all of Eastern Europe for GE Power Services, which supports gas turbines, steam turbines and renewable technology.

It is also strong in the wind sector and following the acquisition of the Alstom business, it has a presence “in coal projects with steam turbines as well as some hydro business”.

Maltepe says gas makes sense for Turkey because “with more and more renewables in the market, you are seeing more and more variability, and gas power plants are very good at fast ramping up and down to support that.”

However, he says that “we are definitely seeing more and more interest from investors and developers in renewables, primarily wind”.

Turkey’s first digital power plant

“Turkey last year was the number 10 wind market in the world with about 1 GW of installations, so even in those technologies that were once considered a luxury and we only saw in places like North America and Europe, we are seeing significant investment and growth.”

Maltepe says that five years ago Turkey was ripe for new business because the government “was worried about an energy crisis because of not having enough supply”.

“Now you have a much more established, liberal market in Turkey. At the same time, significant capacity has been added and some of the electricity pricing has come down, so the economics are not as attractive as they were five years ago.

“But the fundamentals are there: the economy is growing, the population is growing, electricity demand is growing and the kWh per person in Turkey is still very low compared to the average in Europe.”

A recent report from the International Energy Agency stated that Turkey “has a unique opportunity to tap into renewable energies, save energy and diversify its fuel mix”.

In its review of Turkey’s energy policies, the IEA called on the government to swiftly adopt an energy efficiency programme and create “a one-stop-shop for the deployment of renewable energy in the country”.

“Turkey’s energy sector has attracted substantial interest in the investor’s community thanks to privatisation and electricity market reforms,” the report highlighted and urged the country to “continue down this path and reform its energy markets”.

“To attract more investments, the liberalisation of the energy markets needs to progress further,” said Dr Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director.

Digitizing the Kirikkale plant will boost efficiency and cut maintenance costs

The report highlighted three avenues for reform: strengthening the independence of the system operators and regulatory authorities; abolishing market distortions in favour of market pricing; and continuing to invest in more flexible and modern gas and electricity infrastructure. “These pillars are critical for securing stable and reliable electrical power supplies and ensuring sustainable economic growth, and ensuring much needed diversification,” the IEA stated.

“With more energy efficiency and renewable energy, cleaner coal and nuclear can be part of a secure and low carbon mix, but the legal frameworks must be put in place to ensure high standards of environmental performance and safety,” said Dr Birol.

ICCI Powered by POWER-GEN: a spotlight on Turkey’s energy sector opportunities

Digitalization of the energy sector will be one of the topics discussed at ICCI, the International Energy & Environment Fair & Conference of Istanbul, the largest annual power generation conference and exhibition in the city.

This year, global media and conferences and exhibitions company PennWell International, part of US-based PennWell Corporation which owns Power Engineering International, acquired a 50 per cent stake in Sektàƒ¶rel Fuarcilik, owner of ICCI. PennWell International purchased the 50 per cent share from Hannover Fairs Turkey, a subsidiary of German trade show organizer Deutsche Messe, and as a result, the event in May will be promoted as ‘ICCI Powered by POWER-GEN’.

Pennwell’s Feraye Gurel has been named General Manager of Sektàƒ¶rel and will oversee all operations of the event, reporting to Alexander Kàƒ¼hnel, general manager of Hannover Fairs Turkey and Glenn Ensor, managing director of PennWell International. Last year’s event attracted 14,000 visitors from 21 countries to hear about the opportunities in the Turkish electricity, natural gas and renewables markets. ICCI Powered by POWER-GEN runs from May 3-5 at the Istanbul Expo Center. For more information visit www.icci.com.tr