GE’s latest line of HA gas turbines has hit a snag, but a leader of the company said a fix has been found that will allow the HA to maintain its performance goals.
GE Power CEO Russell Stokes wrote in a LinkedIn post that the HA series will likely be impacted by oxidation issues that “affects the lifespan of a single blade component.” He did not expect the development to derail progress on the HA units, which were first operational two years ago.
“Obviously, this was a frustrating development, for us, as well as for our customers. But we have identified a fix and have been working proactively with HA operators to address impacted turbines,” Stokes wrote to his LinkedIn Audience. “The minor adjustments that we need to make do not make the HA any less of a record setting turbine. They are meeting and, in many cases, exceeding their performance goals at every customer site today.”
Reuters reported that the announcement caused GE share price to fall and J.P Morgan to cut its price target for the struggling stock down to $10. The recent gas turbine failure reportedly happened in Texas.
Earlier this year, GE announced that the 26th HA unit worldwide now was in operation with another 76 units ordered by customers in more than a dozen nations. Two units entered commercial operation this spring in Connecticut and New Jersey at power plants owned by Competitive Power Ventures and PSEG Power, respectively.
In his LinkedIn article, Stokes also acknowledged an HA-series delay impacting completion of three power plants in Pakistan. The delays were caused by both GE and other factors out of the company’s hands. He did not elaborate on the reasons.
“However, through close cooperation with our customers, suppliers and government stakeholders, we were able to deliver, and the plants are expected to supply up to 3,600 megawatts for 30-plus years–the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power up to 7.3 million Pakistani homes,” Stokes wrote. “Today, our HA technology is providing Pakistan with efficient, flexible, reliable and low-cost power, enhancing the country’s ability to meet its growing energy needs and improving the lives of millions of citizens.”
(Rod Walton is content manager for Power Engineering. He can be reached at [email protected]).