Read this post on LinkedIn here
It’s been quite a few weeks for the Power business as we publicly disclosed information about an oxidation issue on a blade that’s impacting our industry-leading 9FB and HA gas turbines. While we always do our best to avoid technical issues like this, there’s no question that product adjustments are often part of developing complex technologies like our gas turbines. We’re very confident the Power team can manage through this process successfully as tackling tough issues is what we do best.
Given the coverage around this issue, we thought it was important to provide additional context and clarify some misconceptions as we believe some comments from external sources are being overstated, and frankly, sensationalized.
Let’s start with 5 simple facts:
1. The issue involves oxidation that could cause distress on 9FB and HA gas turbine Stage 1 Blades (S1B).
2. It’s limited to the HA and the 9FB, one of the HA’s predecessors and a legacy fleet. The issue does not impact any other GE fleet, upgrade like our AGP solution for the B/E/F-fleets, new HA or 9F.05 order.
3. We identified the solution and have a plan in place to implement it. We have a joint team across Gas Power Systems and Power Services leading the effort in partnership with our region commercial and service teams. They have been proactively working with our customers on a case by case basis to schedule planned replacement outages and solve any technical issues.
4. The FieldCore and APM teams are ready to execute the planned replacement outages at our customer sites. You can expect to hear more about these planned replacement outages as we work through our timeline with our customers. For example, we began the replacement process with EDF last weekend, and we expect the unit to return to service before the end of October.
5. We were already working with Exelon when the event occurred at Colorado Bend in early September. As a precaution, Exelon chose to proactively shut down their additional HAs. Over the last few weeks we have worked with them to return all 4 of their HA units back to service. The good news is 2 are already back online with new blades … ahead of schedule. This is a tremendous testament to the power of our team and our commitment to doing what we do best – tackling tough issues and delivering for our customers. Our sincere thanks to all of the teams involved in this effort.
Be sure to read our interview with Bloomberg last week in which we shared some additional thoughts on this issue.
As we move forward, we remain very confident in our technology and the future of gas. From developing the first gas turbine for power generation in 1949 to operating the first combined-cycle power plant equipped with our HA in 2016, we ARE an industry leader in advanced gas turbine technology and services solutions:
• The HA is the world’s largest and most efficient turbine. There’s nothing like it in operation today. It’s meeting – and in many cases exceeding – performance goals at every customer site today.
• The HA helped deliver two world records for efficiency across the 50hz and 60hz energy segments, and it continues to be the fastest growing fleet of advanced turbines in the world. More than 80 units have been ordered from 30+ customers in more than 15 countries, and it’s achieved more than 175,000 operating hours to date.
• Our global gas turbine fleet runs at a reliability of more than 99% across more than 7500 units around the world with 200 million accumulated operating hours.
At GE Power, we are one team and we've overcome challenges like this before. There's no doubt we will do it again now.
Chuck Nugent Scott Strazik
CEO, Gas Power Systems, GE Power CEO, Power Services, GE Power