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Electrabel, a Belgium-based energy corporation and a subsidiary of the GDF SUEZ Group, on May 10 inaugurated a new power plant at Amercoeur, a site where electricity has been generated for more than a century.
An existing unit at the site has been upgraded with advanced technology supplied by GE (NYSE:GE) to provide higher output and efficiency and reduce impact on the environment.
Located in the Wallonia region of Belgium, near Charleroi, Amercoeur had been last upgraded in 1967 and has been operating with two units using gas and coal. GE supplied a 109FB gas turbine-generator to support the upgrade of Unit 1 at the site into a natural gas-fired combined-cycle power station, increasing the output from 125 to 420 megawatts – enough additional power to supply about 800,000 Belgian households.
The new technology also increases plant thermal efficiency from approximately 38 percent to 57 percent, meaning that more electricity is produced without an increase in fuel.
“Electrabel, GDF SUEZ Group, selected our 9FB technology as the most economical and efficient solution for their needs, while also meeting rigorous environmental standards,” said Ricardo Cordoba, president of GE Energy for Western Europe and North Africa. “The project builds on our relationship with Electrabel and with the GDF SUEZ Group, which has been a key GE customer over the years.”
The Frame 9FB for Amercoeur entered commercial operation in April of 2009.
GE’s Frame 9FB gas turbine is one of the world’s most advanced, air-cooled 50-hertz gas turbines. To date, nearly 50 of these machines have been installed or committed for power plant projects worldwide. The 9FB is the largest member (in output) of GE’s fleet of F-class gas turbines, which has accumulated more than 32 million hours of commercial operation around the world.