GE Vernova Completes Upgrades at Futtsu Gas-Fired Power Plant in Japan

GE Vernova’s Gas Power division announced the start of commercial operations for a major natural gas-fired power plant in Chiba, Japan, following completion of equipment upgrades at the facility.

The Futtsu Power Plant-Group 4, operated by JERA, Japan’s largest power generation group, features three GE 9HA.01 gas turbines. GE Vernova on August 28 said the 1.5-GW facility is online after the company, along with JERA and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp., performed a flange-to-flange replacement to upgrade the installed three units to the advanced turbine technology. The project supports enhanced performance, efficiency, and lower emissions for the Group 4 plant.

The companies on Monday said the work represents GE’s largest scale flange-to-flange project in Asia. It will improve the plant’s availability, reducing periodic maintenance outages, and its reliability by applying the technology upgrade.

Futtsu Plant Has 5.6 GW of Capacity

The Futtsu Power Plant is comprised of four groups, with 5.6 GW of generation capacity. It is among Japan’s largest power generation facilities and is part of the country’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, receiving more than 11 million tonnes of LNG each year.

“The completion of the flange-to-flange project at Group 4 of the Futtsu Power Plant is testament to our dedication to continuously improving our power generation facilities energy generation,” said Fumitaka Ninomiya, general manager of JERA Futtsu Thermal Plant. “The Futtsu facility has now reset the clock on crucial assets, delivering 1.5 GW of electricity with more efficient technology that can help reduce emissions by burning fuel more efficiently.”

The work to upgrade the Group 4 units at the Futtsu power plant in Chiba,Japan, included the installation of new rotors. Courtesy: JERA

The flange-to-flange replacement entails replacement of an older engine from inlet flange to exhaust flange. GE Vernova in a news release on Monday wrote that the work “is a cost-effective solution to help address multiple power generation needs at once, including asset life extension, performance improvement, emissions controls, and fuel flexibility.” The company said the project involved some site modifications to seamlessly integrate the new turbines into the plant’s existing infrastructure.

The work at the Chiba plant included upgrades to the auxiliary system and the control system for the gas turbine, steam turbine, and heat recovery steam generator. GE Vernova also will provide comprehensive equipment maintenance services for 12 years.

Japan’s Energy Plan

Japan, as part of the country’s 6th Strategic Energy Plan, is working to make its power generation more efficient and sustainable. GE said it is moving to modernize its gas-fired facilities in Japan to increase plant availability, and bring overall improvements to plat reliability.

“We are proud to celebrate the start of commercial operation of the Futtsu Power Plant, a significant achievement that underlines our commitment to delivering efficient energy solutions,” said Ramesh Singaram, president and CEO for GE Vernova’s Gas Power Asia. “The successful completion of this project marks our commitment to supporting customers, like JERA, to deliver innovative, reliable, and sustainable power solutions to support and further the energy transition in Japan. Our H-Class combined cycle technology not only leads to significant efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions, and enhanced cost-effectiveness, but also provides a pathway to co-firing with zero carbon fuels such as ammonia and hydrogen in the future.”

GE has provided power generation for Japan for the past 130 years, with its companies providing equipment including gas turbines, steam turbines, and nuclear reactors. It also has supported Japan’s hydro and wind power industries. It has worked with JERA since 1951 (when the utility was Chubu and Tepco). GE has worked with Toshiba since 1875.

GE Vernova today supports half of Japan’s gas-fired power generation with 130 units of gas turbines. It also accounts for about 25% of the country’s current installed capacity of onshore wind. Its offshore wind projects, with 1.6 GW of capacity, include Akita Noshiro, Akita Yurihonjo, and Choshi.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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