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Alstom boosts its gas turbine portfolio

Alstom announced the launch of its upgraded GT24 gas turbine and the corresponding KA24 combined cycle power plant offering for North America, parts of Latin America, Asia and the Middle East (60Hz market). This closely follows the launch in June, of its upgraded GT26 gas turbine and the corresponding combined cycle power plant KA26 for the 50Hz electricity markets.

In upgrading its gas turbines for the 50Hz and the 60Hz electricity markets, Alstom intends to respond to the increasing demand for gas-fired power generation. Senior Vice President of Alstom’s Gas Business, Mark Coxon, said: “These product upgrades are our response to the renewed growth we are witnessing in the natural gas fired power generation markets. We see the role of combined cycle power plants to be increasingly used as a back-up technology enabling more renewable power to be integrated into the energy mix. Accordingly these products have been optimised not only to offer very high output and efficiency, but also outstanding operational flexibility.”

The share of natural gas in the global energy mix is expected to rise sharply in the coming years. The increased demand for gas fired power generation primarily replaces in specific markets coal and oil, and also complements renewable energy sources.

The GT24 and GT26 gas turbines are based on well-proven technology with more than 4m operating hours. Alstom has dedicated important R&D efforts to developing the latest upgrades of the GT24 and GT26 turbines, including an investment of EUR100m in a test power plant in Switzerland to validate the technology before bringing it to the market.

The upgraded GT24 gas turbine and other associated key power plant components will be manufactured in Alstom’s factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the USA, a state-of-the-art production facility that was inaugurated last year. It will employ up to 350 people, building and retrofitting major equipment for the fossil fuel and nuclear power generation market.

The highly flexible KA24 combined cycle power plant based on the next generation GT24 in a 2-on1 configuration, can start up in less than 30 minutes, says Alstom in a statement. A unique feature is the capability to provide more than 450MW of power in 10 minutes to make up for the fluctuations in production inherent in some renewable energy sources (wind power, for example). This combined-cycle power plant is capable of delivering over 700MW of electric power with an achievable gross electrical efficiency of over 60%. The higher efficiency results in fuel savings of approximately 250,000t annually, thus reducing over 650,000t of CO2 emissions.

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