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Keeping power plants running

Dilapidated and ageing power facilities are offering considerable opportunities for power replacement and re-powering services aimed at improving the overall efficiency of the facilities and also to meet stringent emission norms

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Power plants, Automation, Digitalisation, GE

Power plant services are the services offered by suppliers for power plants in the post-commissioning environment. Power plant services enable the plant operators to manage operational risks including the engineering, planning and supply chain tasks. The services facilitate the operators to focus more on their key business objectives.

Globally, power plant operators are increasingly willing to employ service providers to implement the maintenance and other jobs at their plants. Power plant services market is largely influenced by the rising demand for energy as well as the current condition of power producing equipment.

Dilapidated and ageing power facilities are offering considerable opportunities for power replacement and re-powering services aimed at improving the overall efficiency of the facilities and also to meet stringent emission norms.

Further, a large number of power generating plants are being operated beyond their scheduled operations in order to meet the rising demand for electricity. This is indirectly widening the business for third party service providers as well as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Demanding routine maintenance and service jobs, especially for gas turbines, steam turbines, and boilers, coupled with stringent environmental rules and regulations are also spurring demand for outsourced services.

The global gas turbine service market size is expected to reach $41.6bn by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The global market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 8.5% during the forecast period. Availability of natural gas in large quantities coupled with its relatively lower prices, especially in North America, China, and Thailand, has led to an increase in power generation using gas turbines.

The GCC turbine services market is expected to grow with increased number of turbine installations in the recent years. Competition among the major service providers is expected to be more intense in the coming years.

Many of the service providers have established facilities in GCC and are investing more in their facilities. Investments in sectors like oil and gas, process industries and power generation is expected to drive demand for turbine services for the near future in GCC.

With increase in participation of private participants in the industrial activities and preference for outsourcing of maintenance activities, the region’s service market is poised to grow in the near future.

The 1,700,000 square feet GE Manufacturing Technology Centre (GEMTEC) in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, is one of the largest and most sophisticated of GE’s energy technology centres in the world. It provides repair and maintenance services for several power plants in the GCC and its part of GE’s $2bn commitment to support Saudi Vision 2030.

The standby inspection (consist servicing of the relays cleaning, battery system, checking oil & water level and device calibration), running inspection, and combustion inspection (includes inspection of fuel nozzles and combustion liners) are the major maintenance and repair activities which are performed at different time interval, depending upon various factors such as operating hours, geographical condition, fuel, etc.

Growing focus on generating electricity through cleaner sources and discouragement of utilising coal reserves are the factors anticipated to increase the share of gas turbines in the global energy mix. This, in turn, is expected to provide a favourable environment for the development of this market.

According to Diesel & Gas Turbine Worldwide, the total number of industrial gas turbines ordered in 2014 were 569 units, which increased to 581 in 2016. Of these, the total number of natural gas-fired industrial turbines, ranging from 30 MW to 120 MW, were 62 units in 2014 and reached 147 in 2016.

Growth in industrial turbine installations across the globe is creating more opportunities for aftermarket services, which is building a favourable environment for the growth of gas turbine maintenance market.

Throughout their lifespan, the turbines undergo various inspections at different intervals. Combustor inspection (at 8,000-12,000 EOH), hot gas path inspection (at 24,000-50,000 EOH), and major inspection/overhaul (at 48,000-70,000 EOH) are some of the critical inspections that are essential for the reliable operation of gas turbines.

Increasing utilisation of gas turbines in resource extraction, processing applications, manufacturing facilities, and packaging plants is widening the product application scope.

Increasing demand for the aftermarket services for gas turbine is projected to provide a substantial growth potential to the gas turbine service market.

Technological development in data collection methods is enabling players in this industry to form a constitutive model for materials. Test rig control helps in gathering and analysing large volumes of data, thereby allowing players to create the most suitable maintenance plan and models for gas turbines.

Asia-Pacific dominates the world power plant services market, as stated by the new market research report on power plant services market. The region also represents the fastest growing market for power plant MRO services in the world.

The United States and Europe represent the other principal markets for power plant MRO services. Gas turbines segment represents the largest as well as fastest growing sector in the worldwide power plants MRO services market.

Shortage of skilled workforce, increased bargaining power of major utilities, inefficiency of the existing system, and absence of private investors are some of the major factors that inhibit the market growth.

Key players profiled include Alstom, Foster Wheeler AG, GE Energy, John Wood Group Plc., Wood Group GTS, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., NAES Corporation, Siemens AG, Sulzer Corporation, TGM Turbinas, and The Babcock & Wilcox Company, among others.

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