China increases use of natural gas in power plants to reduce emissions

China increases use of natural gas in power plants to reduce emissions

Less than a decade after Taiyanggong Thermal Power Station came online, China has taken the first steps to reduce the operational costs and environmental impact of existing plants. It selected GE Power Generation Services to upgrade and rebuild two gas turbines at this 780-megawatt natural-gas fired plant in Beijing. GE will deliver parts for the upgrades by the end of the year, with the work completed on both turbines by early 2017.

The project will result in combustion systems that are simpler and more flexible in terms of fuel used to generate electricity. In addition, the agreement calls for GE to provide maintenance through 2025, a first-of-its-kind service model that sets an example for Chinese utilities looking to reduce their operational costs and environmental impact of existing power plants.

While it has worked to address air quality issues, a report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate found that air quality issues are impacting the Chinese economy. China is increasing its use of natural gas units such as Taiyanggong as a means to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now, the improvements at the Beijing plant, if replicated at other facilities around the country, could give an additional boost to China’s efforts to improve air quality.

“Upgrading our plant’s combustion system can help reduce the plant’s emissions, thus helping to protect the environment,” said Cao Mansheng, director, Taiyanggong Thermal Power Station. “Signing this CSA with GE makes strategic sense because it can help ensure the reliable, efficient operation of our facility over a longer period of time, helping us to lower our operating costs as well as overall emissions.”

“We see this as an innovative service model to deliver technology enhancements in China as operators seek to overcome their fuel-flexibility challenges and improve the environmental performance of their fleets,” said Yang Dan, vice president for GE Power Generation Products and Services—China.



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