Due to a surge in demand for electricity from industries and households across the world, many new sources of power generation have emerged in the past few decades. While coal still continues to be a major source of electric generation, other sources, including natural gas have emerged as major alternatives to produce power in recent years.
Gas-fired power plants use natural gas as fuel to generate electricity. One of the main advantages of this type of power plants is low capital investment. They can also be constructed in shorter duration of time compared to other fossil fuel power plant. Gas power stations produce electricity by converting heat energy from the combustion of natural gas.
As gas-fired power plants emit lesser emissions compared to coal power plants, they are increasingly being constructed across the globe. Another major advantage of gas-fired power plants is their quick start-up time. Within few minutes of start-up, the plants reach full load capacity. In case of coal power plants, reaching full capacity takes hours.
Here is the list of world’s biggest gas-fired power plants:
Surgut-2 power station: Located in the Russian city of Surgut in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Yugra, Surgutskaya GRES-2 (Sugrut-2) a combined cycle power plant with a capacity of 5.5GW. Construction on the power station was started in 1979. While six 800MW units of the Surgut-2 power station were commissioned between 1985 and 1988, two advanced gas-fired combined cycle units with a combined capacity of 797.1MW became operational in July 2011.
Construction of the two new generating units at the plant began in the second quarter of 2008. The expansion of the power plant featured inclusion of two new GE 9FA gas turbines and a steam turbine. GE claimed that the new generating units would reduce CO2 emissions by more than 2 million tonnes. The Surgut-2 station uses natural gas coming from the Tyumen Region’s oil fields.
Futtsu power station: With a power generation capacity of 5,040 MW, the gas-fired is located in Chiba prefecture, 30km east of Tokyo. Commissioned between 1985 and 2010, it features four combined cycle power plants. The first two, with a combined capacity of 2GW, were commissioned in 1986 and 1988. In 2003, the third plant consisting of four 380MW GE 109FA+e combined cycle systems was commissioned. The Futtsu power station is owned and operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The thermal power plant receives LNG fuel from an underwater pipeline from the nearby Futtsu LNG terminal.
In September 2016, GE Power and TEPCO Fuel & Power (Tepco) signed a memorandum of understanding agreement to introduce Industrial IoT solutions throughout the utility’s thermal power plant fleet, harnessing GE’s secure, cloud-based Predix platform. As the first step in this agreement, Tepco FP agreed to install GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) software in the unit 4 of the LNG-fueled Futtsu Power Station.
Kawagoe power station: Located in Kawagoe, Mie, Japan, the Kawagoe power station has a power generation capacity of 4,802 MW. The plant has four generating units, with the two LNG-fired units of 700MW capacity getting commissioned in 1989 and 1990. While Mitsubishi supplied boilers for the first two units, Toshiba delivered and steam turbines. The third and fourth LNG-based combined cycle generating units were commissioned in 1996 and 1997, respectively. The Kawagoe thermal power station uses six LNG tanks with total storage capacity of 840,000m3.
Tatan power plant: Located in Guanyin, Taoyuan, in Northern Taiwan, the Dah-Tarn (Tatan) power plant with a capacity of 4,384MW is owned and operated by Taiwan Power Company (Taipower). The gas turbine combined cycle power station was developed in two stages. While the stage one involved installation of two generating units, the stage consisted of two three generating units based on two Mitsubishi M501G gas turbines each. In 2003, Taiwan’s state-owned Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC) agreed to supply natural gas to the power plant for a period of 25 years.
Chita thermal power station: With a capacity of 3,996MW, the Chita thermal power station is located in Chita, Aichi, Japan. Owned and operated by Chubu Electric Power Company, the power plant start operations in 1968. The power plant comprises six LNG-fired units. In 1985, the first four units, which were originally designed to burn heavy crude oil, were modernized and converted to generate power from natural gas.