June 20, 2008

GE Energy Supplies DCS Equipment for Chinese Biomass-Fueled Power Plants

GE Energy has announced that it is providing distributed control systems for 50 new biomass-fueled power plants being developed by the Wuhan Kaidi Electric Power Engineering Company in China.

The biomass plants are expected to 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% in 2008, with the country's total annual demand currently exceeding 3.7 trillion 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, 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.

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

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 also be provided for operating and maintenance training. The DCS technology is expected to optimize the performance of the plants, making the projects more economically viable for developer Wuhan Kaidi.