Shown is an industrial Trent gas turbine from Rolls-Royce. Two Rolls-Royce Trent 60 electrical generating sets were chosen to provide power for a new nickel mine in the North Province of New Caledonia in the South Pacific.
In the Australasia region, where the stationary energy sector is generally dominated by output from coal-fired power plants, there is some evidence that combined-cycle gas turbine stations as well as gas-fired reciprocating engines are increasingly becoming an attractive economic option for electric power generation. The case for gas turbines was very recently given a significant boost with the announcement of an order for them for a project in the North Province of New Caledonia east of Australia in the South Pacific. Other projects making headlines recently have included coal mine methane gas-fired power plants coming online.
In its latest 2008 report, the growth in Australia’s energy consumption eased in 2006-07 compared with the previous year, according to the Melbourne, Australiabased Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA). It reported an increase in electricity consumption of 1.5%, down from a 2.9% rise in 2005-06 mainly due to milder weather conditions on the country’s east coast. In addition, ESAA pointed out that there was also continued growth in natural gas consumption of 6% — the same rate as 2005-06.
Black and brown coal-fired power plants accounted for around 81% of power generation output in Australia, with natural gas responsible for approximately 12% of power generation. Hydro produces 6% and other fuels 1%.
In Western Australia strong demand from the mining, manufacturing and electricity generation sector meant that it was the biggest consumer of natural gas in 2006-07 with 37% of primary gas demand, followed by Victoria with 23%. A growing backing for gas-fired electricity generation in Queensland saw the share of natural gas there rise to 13% of total natural gas consumption in Australia, followed by New South Wales at 12%.
As the country strives to meet its longterm emissions reductions targets, there are a range of technologies being adopted for power generation, although conventional pulverized fuel power generation is the main one used in the country. However, commenting on the apparent popularity growth in combined-cycle gas turbine plants, ESAA added, “While used mainly to supply intermediate or peak load in Australia, they are increasingly becoming an economic option for base load generation where natural gas prices are competitive.”
One of the companies at the forefront of energy projects is Perth, Australia-based CTEC. A major contract was signed with Western Energy to engineer, procure and construct the new 120 MW power station in Kwinana, Western Australia. The plant will consist of two PWPS FT8-3 gas turbines from Pratt and Whitney in an open-cycle arrangement. Work was due to start in late 2008 and is expected to finish in June 2010, with the option of a long-term operations and maintenance contract.
A company at the forefront of energy projects is Perth, Australia-based CTEC, which signed a major contract with Western Energy to engineer, procure and construct the new 120 MW power station in Kwinana, Western Australia. The plant will consist of two PWPS FT8-3 gas turbines, similar to the one shown here, from Pratt and Whitney in an open-cycle arrangement.
CTEC will provide design, specification and procurement of all plant components as well as construction, commissioning, documentation, and reliability and performance tests. The company said the project would result in increased reliability of supply during high demand periods and improved security of electricity supply during system emergencies or blackouts. For supply security, the gas turbines will be designed to run on dual fuel (natural gas and distillate), however, distillate will only be used when gas is unavailable, CTEC added, and said the plant could be readily converted to combined cycle.
CTEC said that the project is expected to result in lower environmental impacts than those arising from conventional power generating facilities and will link into the South West Interconnected System selling electricity into the competitive power market.
The use of gas turbines in the greater Australasia area was boosted recently when two Rolls-Royce Trent 60 electrical generating sets were chosen to provide power for a new nickel mine in the North Province of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. Over 50 Rolls-Royce
industrial gas turbines, including the Avon, 501, Olympus and RB211, have been delivered to operators in Australia to provide power for installations including hospitals in Melbourne, Dandenong and Alfred, tire factories, newsprint mills, mining companies and offshore oil and gas platforms.
The US$3.8 billion project at Koniambo, a new long-life, low-cost, open mine, will be capable of producing 60 000 tons of ferronickel a year after the first ore is processed, which is expected in the first half of 2011.
Koniambo Nickel SAS is a joint venture owned by Xstrata Nickel and Société Minière du Sud Pacifique, and it selected two Trent Wet Low Emissions dual-fuel gas turbine units, which will each provide up to 46 MW of electrical power to supplement two 135 MW steam turbine sets. The Trents are expected to provide power for the next 25 years.
Previous orders have come from Babcock and Brown Power (previously Alinta Energy) for generating sets to be installed at a remote iron ore mine in Western Australia and at a power station site in Tasmania. The Trent 60 engines will be manufactured at the Rolls-Royce plant in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and packaging of the generating sets will take place at the company’s Mount Vernon, Ohio, U.S.A., facility. Delivery of both units is scheduled for the third quarter of 2009, with the first electricity being produced during the third quarter of 2010.
Also in the region, plans are under way in Papua New Guinea to explore opportunities to develop oil and gas projects that may be brought onstream. Italian energy company Eni and the country signed a long-term partnership whereby the company will open an office in Papua New Guinea to study hydrocarbon potential there.
Eni said the link-up also covers the promotion of power generation and technical support for the use of alternative and existing renewable forms of energy.