Delimara gas turbines to be delivered by end of year

Three 36 tonne gas turbines to be used at new power plant in Delimara set to be completed on time

 The turbines are each made from over 26,100 parts and weigh over 36 tonnes (Photos by Chris Mangion)
The turbines are each made from over 26,100 parts and weigh over 36 tonnes (Photos by Chris Mangion)

Three gas turbines, currently being assembled at the Siemens Finspang facility in Sweden will arrive in Malta by the end of the year where they will be assembled on site at the new Delimara power plant.

This week, MaltaToday was among the media organisations invited to visit the facility where the 36 tonne turbines are being assembled.

Electrogas, the consortium which will be constructing and running the plant has commissioned three SGT-800 gas turbines from Siemens, which also forms part of the consortium.  

After partner Gasol dropped out of ElectroGas Malta, Siemens Financial Services, Socar Trading SA, and GEM Holdings become equal shareholders in the power station consortium.

Turbines 1 and 3 are in the final stages, waiting to be mounted on skid plates, while Turbine 2 is also on schedule. The assembly of the three individual turbines, which takes a total of 50 weeks - proceeds at an interval of a week from each other in order for tests and to be made.

Every turbine is made from over 26,100 parts. Each turbine weighs 36 tons, however once mounted on the skid plates the package weighs 200 tons. In the case of Delimara, the final assembly of the turbine, control room and generator will take place on site.

The final assembly stage lasts seven weeks and will be followed by more tests. Mats Flenhagen, Sales Manager for Small Power Plants, said that test rectification on site costs 10 times more than any issue which are addressed at the facility. 

When the three turbines are completed and wrapped in protective blue plastic in November, they will be shipped to Delimara from the port of Norrkoping.

The SGT-800 turbine, is capable of delivering 50.5MW, was first launched in 1995 and was upgraded in 2004 and 2007. It is now available in three power output versions.

The turbines can be operated at 50% output without effecting efficiency and emissions, however to ensure max lifespan it should be used 24/7. The life span of an SGT-800 gas turbine is 25years but with regular scheduled maintenance in most cases this is extended to more operational years.

Siemens Product Owner Matts Bjorkman, explained how a single blade from this turbine generates power comparable to a Formula 1 car engine. This year Siemens will produce 64 of these turbines, but production will increase to 72 in 2016.

Malta has opted to what is known as the 'Classic Package', which delivers maximum efficiency whilst using a small footprint. The turbine can be operated with various gas fuels, making it highly flexable.

The Swedish company has to date delivered 250 of these units, with a total of 3.3million operational fleet hours. Over the past 5 years, the SGT-800 achieved 99.4% reliability with a Mean Time Between Forced Outagesof only 5306 hours. "These figures make our competitors go green with envy", Bjorkman said.

Addressing the media visiting the Siemens facility Catherine Haalpin, General Manager of Electrogas, said that this is a large project but the consortium is confident it will adhere to the time frames.