To improve performance and provide valuable insights and visibility into plant and turbine operations, GE’s Power Services business (NYSE: GE) announced it has signed an agreement with Azito Energie S.A. (Azito) to upgrade two gas turbines at the company’s combined-cycle power plant. GE’s hardware upgrade and Operations Optimization digital solutions will help increase power output by up to 30 megawatts (MW) and will equip Azito with the insights it needs to increase efficiency and improve operations at the power plant. The project, located in the Yopougon district of the Ivory Coast, marks GE’s first GT13E2 MXL2 gas turbine upgrade order in sub-Saharan Africa.
“As the electricity sector has undergone significant reform in the Ivory Coast, new regulations have helped foster a more welcoming environment to help Ivorians gain access to electricity,” said Luc Aye, Managing Director of Azito Energie. “At the center of this agreement with GE is our commitment to provide the people of the Ivory Coast with access to more reliable electricity. With GE’s upgrade package and digital solutions, we will produce more power, improve the efficiency of the plant and reduce our carbon footprint.”
In addition to increasing power output by up to 30 MW, upgrades on the turbines are expected to deliver a combined-cycle efficiency increase, resulting in significant fuel savings and reduced CO2 emissions. GE’s solutions will also extend inspection intervals for the gas turbines, reducing maintenance and repair expenses—which, in turn, will reduce overall plant costs and result in improving profitability.
“With the Azito power plant producing more than a third of the electricity in the Ivory Coast, these improvements will have a wide-reaching impact on the country’s energy landscape,” said Elisee Sezan, General Manager, GE’s Power Services business for sub-Saharan Africa. “Until two decades ago, the country was heavily reliant upon hydroelectric power and fell into an energy crisis when the electricity output from its dams was drastically reduced due to droughts. With this project, we look forward to supporting Azito Energie in its efforts to help the Ivory Coast achieve its strategic energy objectives to increase existing plants’ efficiency and double the installed capacity it had in early 2013 by 2020.”
The installation of GE’s Predix-based Operations Optimization solution will provide numerous operational benefits at the Azito plant. Slated for installation in mid-2018, the software will equip Azito with deep insights and key performance indicator (KPI)-based analytics to help improve overall plant performance. It delivers enterprise data visibility across power plant and fleet-wide footprints, providing a holistic understanding of operational decisions. The solution also can provide operational benefits such as:
- Improved reliability and availability via enhanced predictivity.
- More accurate performance monitoring and forecasting.
- Dispatch enhancement via improved visibility into plant capability.
- Lower production costs and asset generation forecasting for improved asset dispatch.
“With GE’s Operations Optimization software, Azito will be able to improve productivity across its worldwide fleet with fact-based actions that align to KPIs,” said Narendra Asnani, Executive Sales Director, GE’s Power Services business for sub-Saharan Africa. “It will also enable them to tackle operational issues, meet business demand, align people and systems and reach true plant capacity while reducing cost and downtime.”
GE is a historical player and a pioneer in the Ivory Coast, particularly in the power sector. For example, the first-ever gas turbines (Vridi, 1984), the first independent power production project (Ciprel, 1994) and the first combined-cycle power plants in the country (Azito and Ciprel, 2015) all run mainly on GE technology.
In 2015, the company demonstrated its commitment to help bolster the Ivorian power sector to meet future demand increases and challenges with the signing of a cross-sector memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government of Ivory Coast. In the MoU, GE agreed to support the country in attaining its infrastructure development goals, which include adding 1 gigawatt of power to the Ivorian national grid.