Yemen’s flexible friend

Nexen, the Calgary based oil and gas company, has selected Wärtsilä to supply a baseload power plant for an installation at the company’s Bashair Al Khair-A oil field in Yemen.

Wärtsilä will supply three 18V32GD generator sets with a total output of more than 15 MW for the 35 000 barrels per day (bpd) central processing facility. The engines will run on bothcrude oil and natural gas at the highambient temperatures and arid conditions typical of the region. Production from the completed facility is expected to begin in mid-2005.

Harry Groten, senior project engineer of Nexen, said: “The engine’s dual fuel capability, using crude oil and natural gas, and to vary the percentage of each fuel, gives us the flexibility we wanted in our fuel requirements.”

The conditions in Yemen underscored the advantages of Wärtsilä’s engine technology over turbines to Frank Donelly, vice president of Wärtsilä North America Inc., Power Plants, who said: “Specifically, the engines are designed to function at maximum efficiency in hot, dry and high altitude conditions that would be problematic for other types of generators.”

The arrival of a diesel rival

Turbomeca has developed the TM 1800, a turbo genset that is set to rival diesel engines, both in terms of purchase and operational costs.

Turbomeca’s latest development is designed for applications that include sea propulsion and electricity generation, railway applications, combined heat and power (CHP), emergency power units and the oil producing industry.

The TM 1800 turbo genset, whose naval version for on-board electricity generation and cruising propulsion has been developed since December 2000, is under inspection in order to combine the advantages of diesel engines and gas turbines, in particular in terms of consumption, reliability and maintenance costs.

Turbomeca claims that the TM 1800 has a range of innovations, such as a high speed alternator and a heat recuperator.

Bench tests conducted since 2003 have proven that a power output of about 2 MW and a consumption of 210g/kWh added to its high reliability, make it possible for the TM 1800 to reach 20 000 operating hours of TBO.

Atlas Copco reaches for the remote as mobile sets follow rural scheme

A rural eletrification scheme and the launch of a new fleet of mobile gensets have seen Atlas Copco show a willingness to deal with the most remote conditions.

The remote rural electrification scheme saw Atlas Copco provide seven generating sets for difficult to access villages in Angola.

Their taking part initially saw installed four QAS generating sets rated at 250 kVA and 300 kVA. The installation of the remaining QIX units had to wait until after the rainy season in villages that could only be accessed via ‘unmadeup’ bush tracks.

The remaining QIX installation included a QIX 255 rated at 256 kVA and two QIX 540 generating sets, each rated at 550 kVA, with all three units operating in parallel with a Qc 40001 control module, routing the supply according to demand.

In another village two QIX 540 gensets, each rated at 550 kVA, operating in parallel were also installed in a similar configuration.

Tony Van Herbruggen of Atlas Copco said: “Long term reliability is also a key design aim, with all QAS and QIX generators having been designed to operate in all climates without needing additional servicing.”

A multi-set installation compared with a number of individual sets was preferred for this application in order to ensure that a supply could still be maintained should one or two sets be taken out of service for maintenance or a major overhaul in the remote and difficult to access location.

In addition to supplying the sets, Atlas Copco’s local distributor, Blackwood Hodge (Angola) Ltd., was also responsible for installation of the necessary infrastructure such as power lines and reserve fuel tanks to ensure a buffer supply of at least one week’s supply of fuel. As part of the electrification contract with the Provisional Government of Angola, Blackwood Hodge will also maintain the installed systems.

Separate from the rural electrification scheme, Atlas Copco has provided further accomodating generation capability by recently unveiling its new gensets, which are purpose built for mobile applications. The two new gensets are designed to meet the demands of global rental fleets, construction applications and public utility companies in a robust, high quality, portable format rated at 12 kVA and 20 kVA.

The QAX 12 and the QAX 20 are powered by Deutz 2011 series of two and three cylinder engines respectively, driving a Newage alternator.


Atlas Copco work to ensure that logistically, everything is in place to deliver an electricity supply from scratch
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The new sets share a large number of standard components with Copco’s Series Seven range of air compressors; offering simplification of maintenance and spare parts. These include the canopy which is fitted as a hinged unit that can easily be opened or closed with the aid of gas springs.

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Two new gensets from Atlas Copco. An 80-litre fuel tank ensures at least 15 hours operation for the QAX 20 and approximately 12 hours for the QAX 12

Environmental features include a standard sealed spillage-free frame, which ensures that all fluids are retained within.

The control panel is located behind a transparent cover, ensuring safe and easy monitoring whether the canopy is open or closed.