MAN Diesel & Turbo have installed a gas-fired combined heat and power plant at the SAIC-Volkswagen Automotive works in Shanghai, and the company’s China-based chairman says new government goals indicate more such facilities will come on-stream.

The company installed four MGT 6200 gas turbines at the car manufacturing plant and Manfred Biedermann, chairman MAN Diesel & Turbo China believes his company is well-placed to assist a transition away from coal-fired power to gas technologies.
 SAIC-Volkswagen Automotive works in Shanghai
 China’s National Energy Administration estimates that natural gas use in China will grow to 10 per cent of the country’s primary energy consumption by 2020.

 “Our solutions can help to facilitate a cleaner energy production and safer supply of natural gas in China,” Biedermann said. “The Chinese government has set ambitious goals to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, and our gas engine and turbomachinery technology can help to reach these goals and to reduce emissions.”

 Each of the four turbine sets delivers electrical power by driving a generator, while additional use of the waste heat for producing process steam increases the plant’s overall efficiency to more than 80 per cent. The steam is used at the production works of the manufacturing facility.

The new CHP plant produces electricity to cover 100 per cent of the annual demand in SAIC Volkswagen Car Plant 3 and the neighbouring gearbox plant in Anting, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 23 per cent.

Biedermann said that the Chinese government has asked all companies in the country’s industrial capitals—including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou—to replace coal fired boilers before 2018. That means CHP projects are likely to increase, he said.

“Obviously most coal-fired installations will be replaced by gas-fired plants and especially CHP solutions can make a valuable contribution to reducing the carbon footprint in these areas and increase fuel efficiency,” Biedermann said. “Depending on the set up, engine-based CHP installations can reach total fuel efficiencies of more than 90% and offer district heating in regions south of the Yangtse for example, which largely are still without any heating.”

“Wherever process steam is needed, a turbine CHP installation will help very effectively. All in all one can say that highly efficient technologies like CHP will play a vital role in tackling the energy challenges in China.”

“The MGT 6200 is a comparatively small machine that can be used wherever off-grid electricity is needed. From its idle state, an MGT needs less than 10 minutes to reach full-scale output.” Biedermann said. “It is also very service friendly with all parts being easily accessible by service technicians and a breaker to breaker interval of only three days.”

“We do not have any bias,” Biedermann said. “The decision on which technology to apply really needs to be made on a case-by-case basis for each and every project.

“As a rule of thumb, one can say that due to their higher exhaust gas temperature, turbines generally are the better fit for applications where large quantities of steam need to be generated. Engines, on the other hand, may be the better fit for district heating applications, as a higher overall efficiency of the CHP installation can be achieved. They also are more robust with regards to height or ambient temperatures,” Biedermann said. “The turbine’s footprint on the other hand is a lot smaller, which is beneficial if space is an issue. But as I said, there really is no black and white answer—each project needs to be looked at individually.”