GE struggling to resolve gas turbines ‘vibration’ issue

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that some of General Electric’s flagship new gas turbines in Pakistan were still suffering from technical issues such as “vibration” but he was confident the American company will fix the problems.

The 9HA-class gas turbines are GE power division’s newest and most prestigious product but last year a series of delays and outages interrupted their installation in three power stations vital to Pakistan’s efforts to end electricity shortfalls.

GE has described last year’s problems as “teething” issues, but the troubles have frustrated Pakistani officials and concerned analysts. GE, undergoing a restructuring, saw its share price tumble below $16 for the first time since 2011.

The Pakistani power plants are being upgraded to operate at 1,200 MW combined cycle, having worked in simple cycle mode – delivering around 800 MW per power plant – for much of 2017.

PM further said, “These (power plants) are still with the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor under GE’s supervision, so we don’t have any liability for them at the moment.”

The 9HA-class gas turbines entered the Guinness World Records for efficiency, based on the amount of electricity generated from natural gas at the power plant in Bouchain, France, where it was first put into commercial operation in 2016. Pakistan ordered six turbines in 2015.

GE’s record efficiency of 62.2 percent has since been exceeded by rival manufacturer Mitsubishi Hitachi Power systems.