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GE technology for new biomass power plants in China

Posted: 18 June 2008

GE Energy is providing distributed control systems for 50 new biomass-fueled power plants that are being built in China as the country works to rapidly develop new renewable energy sources to meet its pressing energy and environmental goals.

The biomass plants will provide much-needed electricity to support local grid networks at a time when China’s demand for power is projected to grow by about 13.5 per cent in 2008, with the country’s total annual demand currently exceeding 3.7 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh).

The 50 plants will each feature two, 12MW power blocks that will generate a total of 7.2 billion kWh per year, which is enough to support an average of 70,000 families in China.

GE is providing its distributed controls technology to Wuhan Kaidi Electric Power Engineering Co., Ltd, which is building the biomass plants in the Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Shanxi, Fujian, Jiangsu and Jiangxi regions. Rice husk, straw and animal manure will be used as the biomass stock.

"By offering customers greater fuel and power-generation technology choices, this helps support regional energy security and independence from fossil fuels," said Brian Palmer, vice president of GE Energy’s optimization and control business.

The projects will mark the global debut of GE Energy’s OC 4000™ distributed control systems (DCS) for biomass power generation applications.

The integrated controls platform will link all plant operations, data acquisition and performance analysis to control and protect the biomass plants’ steam turbine, boiler and auxiliary devices. A simulation system will be provided for operating and maintenance training.

The DCS technology will optimize the performance of the plants, making the projects more economically viable for developer Wuhan Kaidi.

The first 2x12MW biomass power block is scheduled to enter commercial service at the end of August 2008. All 50 plants will be operational by December 2010. GE’s equipment will be built in Shanghai, China.

The equipment for the first two project contracts will be delivered in May 2008, with three additional shipments scheduled in June, July and August 2008.

Local suppliers in China are providing the steam turbines and boilers for the biomass plants, while seven engineering institutes are also involved with the design of this project.

"For this important industrial-renewable energy initiative in China to succeed, Wuhan Kaidi required the right combination of a short delivery cycle, improved plant performance, reduced power plant emissions and the overall quality assured by the GE brand," noted Jack Wen, president of GE Energy- China.

"GE’s milestone OC 4000 DCS order for Wuhan Kaidi lays the foundation for the DCS technology to play an expanded role in supporting GE’s commitment in China."

China Energy Development

Biomass projects promote rural employment by creating highly skilled, valuable job opportunities in the utility, power and agricultural equipment industries.

Seeking to address China’s converging energy and environmental concerns, a comprehensive energy program was issued by the China National Development and Reform Commission in June 2007, establishing an ambitious plan to reduce total emissions of major pollutants by 10 per cent by 2010.

To help achieve this goal, China is offering developers a subsidy to encourage the rapid construction of biomass power plants like the new Wuhan Kaidi projects.

In 2006, GE launched its ecomagination program in China, reaffirming the company’s commitment to help the country develop cleaner, more efficient sources of energy and abundant sources of clean water while reducing emissions.




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