Daily Management Review

GE’s Problem With Giant Turbines Now A Global Issue: Reuters


12/07/2018




GE’s Problem With Giant Turbines Now A Global Issue: Reuters
At least 18 of General Electric Co’s newest gas turbines, from Taiwan to France, is being shut down for repairs, reported news agency Reuters quoting information from more than a dozen plant operators and industry experts.
 
This development was preceded by failure of the GE turbine blade in Texas recently and comes in the backdrop of the company being cowed down by financial losses because of a steep drop in orders for purchase and rental of the huge generators of the company capable of powering hundreds of thousands of homes with electricity.
 
Reuters reported that while the company is in the midst of a restructuring of its power business, it has also apportioned $480 million for the repair work of its 9HA, 7HA and 9FB model turbines. There was however no confirmation from the 126-year-old US conglomerate about the total number of turbines that would be shut down for repairs. The company has manufactured about 130 such turbines.
 
The Reuters report was based on information gathered from French utility services and multiple interviews that its representatives and reporters had conducted with more than 20 industry experts which  included executives, plant operators, insurance specialists, engineers and consultants who reportedly had direct knowledge about issues related to GE turbines. The report stated that at least 18 of the 55 new HA-model turbines that GE has shipped so far have either been shut down or are being planned to be shut down by power plant operators in Japan, Taiwan, France and at multiple U.S. locations.
 
GE turbines are performing “extremely well,” despite the need for “early maintenance” to fix the blades, said GE gas power systems CEO Chuck Nugent ion an interview while attempting to reduce the importance of the temporary shutting down of the company’s turbines as well as the data from French utilities.
 
He added that GE has “the most reliable fleet in the world - 99 percent, give or take, reliability,” if one considers all of the power turbines it has in use.
 
On earlier occasions, GE had acknowledged that those equipment that were in need of repairs included four 7HA turbines in Texas which had to be shut down because of issues with oxidation resulting a blade falling into one of the turbines in September this year. Those turbines are included in the 18 being shut down.
 
Reuters said that GE had informed that a six of the oxidation issues with the turbines had been developed before the failure in Texas because the problem was first detected back in 2015. The solution developed the company was to make use of an earlier casting method which had been used for other turbine models.
 
“Overall, we’ve been very pleased with GE’s HA technology and its performance capabilities,” said Beth Conley, a spokeswoman at Invenergy, which is receiving replacement blades for three new HA turbines at a Pennsylvania plant that has not yet opened.
 
 (Source:www.reuters.com)






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