By Myrna M.Velasco
BERLIN, Germany – Industrial giant Siemens AG will roll out its new HL-class gas turbines for the well-anticipated expansion of gas markets in the Philippine electricity sector, according to key company executives.
The new gas turbines that are into the ‘jumbo frame’ of industrial machines for the energy sector will be the German firm’s next-level technology offer that shall be giving its customers a record efficiency rate of 63-percent in their power plant operations.
In a presentation to visiting Asian journalists, Siemens Head of Sales in Asia Pacific Thomas Hagedorn noted that the HL-class gas turbines will be ideal technology to both power markets of 50-hertz and 60-hertz operational categories.
Other than the Philippines, the offer of the new gas turbines will be across Asia Pacific power markets – primarily those that will be needing flexibility in their energy mix due to massive renewable energy technologies integration into their systems.
The Philippines is a 60-hertz market, and it is often ideal to generating units of just relatively smaller capacities vis-à-vis mammoth installations that can be done per-unit for 50-hertz electricity markets.
The new HL-class gas turbine will come in three variants: the SGT5-8000 HL series for 50 hertz market at installed capacity of up to 481 megawatts for simple cycle operation – then up to 708 MW for combined cycle plants. For SGT-9000HL series, the 50-hertz market could have 567MW output for simple cycle facility and up to 841MW for combined cycle; while the 60-hertz market could have installed capacity of 388MW per unit for simple cycle and 577MW for combined cycle generating plants.
The HL-class is a technology with higher-rated efficiency compared to the last H-Class gas turbines deployed in various power markets worldwide, including the 414MW San Gabriel power project of the First Gen group in the Philippines.
From this technology carrier’s record efficiency of 63-percent, the German firm emphasized that it targets to go even higher for a “clear mid-term goal of 65-percent” efficiency rate.
The higher efficiency range of the HL-Class turbines, Hagedorn said, fundamentally considered the cost-competitiveness concern of consumers, primarily those in the Asian markets – as this entails having less fuel feed to every megawatt of electricity generation, hence, bringing down the overall cost for end-users.
Additionally, Siemens Philippines President and CEO Joseph Jorel Nuyda noted that “the country’s demand for a more reliable and more efficient mid-merit power through combined cycle power plants is the main driver for our HL-Class gas turbines.”
Nuyda qualified that while the country already has teeming source for its baseload capacity from coal-fired generation, “the intermediate demand or what we call the mid-merit demand is better catered through combined cycle gas plants with higher net efficiency of approximately 63-percent as against 42-percent of the simple cycle plants.”
Further, Hagedorn emphasized that the Philippines is one market that they have been strategically eyeing for the rollout of this new technology – given the gas industry reset that the country is currently pushing for on its proposed build-up of liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure chain.
The German firm is in continuous discussion with long-term client First Gen on its future projects, although Hagedorn qualified that they are keenly monitoring for now how the government will address the anticipated gas supply gap in the near term.
“As soon as this (LNG infrastructure plan) is solved, we’re ready to support whatever turbine technology is needed in the Philippines for new gas-fired power projects… the HL-class is an option that we have been having discussions on with partners,” Hagedorn said.
Beyond improving the generation efficiency of power plants, the Siemens executive indicated that the fast ramp rate of the HL-Class gas turbine will also be an ideal complement to the on-and-off generation of renewables, primarily solar and wind technologies – while battery storage is still a costly option for many electricity markets.