By The Nation
The new service centre will be beneficial to Thailand too, according to Jim Vono GE Gas Power Asia Pacific President of Operations, who notes it will reduce time for repairing the HA gas turbine.
“Thailand is a big market for GE and we have a great relationship with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. It will be a great opportunity to work with them and provide support in the future," he said.
With the support of the Singapore Economic Development Board, the announcement underscores the company’s commitment to continued investments in the future of gas, which is a vital part of the energy mix.
The new Center of Excellence will significantly increase GE’s repair development capability globally to support the industry’s most-advanced, heavy-duty gas turbine, making the site a world reference in power generation technology development and implementation.
The new centre, which will begin repairing HA components in 2021, will include a research and development (R&D) component to develop next-generation HA repair capabilities and the repair of high-tech components, such as HA nozzles and blades.
With GE’s HA fleet growing globally, this investment in Singapore is expected to add up to 160 experts in engineering and repairs and enable GE to better service HA power plant operators based in Asia, and all countries outside Americas region, which will be served by GE’s world-class Manufacturing and Services facility in Greenville.
This news comes on the heels of GE’s celebration of its 100th HA gas turbine order with the Greek Mytilineos SA Power Plant and the introduction of its 7HA.03 gas turbine, which currently enables the most efficient combined cycle block of power at the lowest cost conversion of gas to electricity for 60 Hz customers.
The chief executive of GE Gas Power, Scott Strazik says that Singapore has been a key industrial and talent hub for GE over the last 50 years. “The quality of talent, belief in our team and the work they are doing here, and our strong partnership and trust with the government and EDB are key reasons we chose Singapore for this investment.
“The new centre for our industry-leading HA gas turbine technology is expected to become one of the GE’s largest gas turbine repair facility globally servicing our HA and Aeroderivative gas turbines. In addition, it will allow us to better serve our HA customers in Asia as we provide localised support and expect to reduce HA repair cycle time for them by up to two months,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of EDB, Dr Beh Swan Gin said that GE’s investment in the Global Repair Engineering and Development Centre marks the latest milestone in our longstanding partnership and extends the company’s range of activities in Singapore.
“The establishment of repair development capabilities for Gas Turbines is a good addition to Singapore's base of industrial activities and also creates good jobs for Singaporeans. We look forward to the success of this Center,” said Dr Beh Swan Gin.
GE has been involved in the current service center in Singapore since the 1970s in partnership with local companies. The site originally performed marine and offshore repairs. With GE, it has evolved into power generation repairs, servicing gas turbines, steam turbines and generators. Its current focus is exclusively on power generation gas turbine repair processes and localization of GE’s newest products.
The facility carries out overhauls of gas turbine blades, rotors and aero-derivative engine components. It uses advanced repair technologies such as robotic laser cladding, adaptive CNC machining, robotic coating and polishing, and inspection technologies. The site currently employs approximately 250 people.