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GE, Harbin Electric and NPPMCL set new global record in first fire and synchronization of H-class gas turbine at Balloki Power Plant


GE (NYSE: GE) and Harbin Electric International Company Limited (HEI) have set a new global record for the shortest duration from delivery on-site to first fire and synchronization of GE’s H-class gas turbine at the Balloki Power Plant in Pattoki, Punjab in Pakistan.

Developed by the Government of Pakistan through the National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL), the 1.2 gigawatt (GW) combined cycle Balloki Power Plant is a milestone project that aims to address the growing power needs of the country and will run on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

GE has supplied two of its record-setting 9HA.01 gas turbines and one steam turbine with Harbin Electric as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner for the project. With the plant scheduled for commissioning later this year, GE and Harbin Electric have achieved an impressive milestone, as planned, by completing the first fire test of the 9HA gas turbine just 66 days after the unit was delivered to the project site. In addition, the synchronization of the gas turbine has been achieved in only 74 days, the shortest duration in which GE’s H-Class turbines have been test fired and simultaneously synchronized to the national grid since arrival on site, underlining the strong collaboration of NPPMCL, GE and Harbin Electric in driving the commissioning of the project. The previous record was at the Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plant, also in Pakistan, where the duration from delivery to first fire test was eight days longer than Balloki.   

First fire is a critical test which sees the gas turbine switched on and operated with fuel at the site. The following step is synchronization, in which the unit is first connected to the national grid. The first 9HA gas turbine at Balloki is now delivering up to 380 megawatts (MW) of energy.

Rashid Mahmood Langrial, CEO of National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL) said, “We are committed to delivering on the government’s vision to strengthen power generation in Pakistan and to meet the growing needs for power for residential and commercial use. With the first fire and synchronization of the first gas turbine, Balloki is on schedule to enter operation and will support the people and national economic growth of Pakistan. The record completion of first fire is a strong demonstration of the extraordinary team work that is going into the project to ensure its timely commissioning.”

Mohamad Ali, President & CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems - Projects, in the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and India said, “Balloki marked the 24th and 25th orders for our heavy duty 9HA gas turbine globally, and the first fire and synchronization follows our similar track-record in Bhikki and Haveli Bahadur Shah Power Plants. As the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbines, GE’s 9HAs are changing the way power is delivered in Pakistan and around the world.”

The first fire and synchronization of the Balloki 9HA gas turbine follows the recent success by GE and Harbin Electric at the Bhikki Power Plant, which also runs on LNG and will generate up to 1,180 MW – the equivalent power needed to supply about 2.5 million Pakistani homes. In addition to the 9HA gas turbines, Balloki Power Plant will have a primary re-gasified LNG fuel system, a secondary diesel fuel system, water cooled condensers and a cooling tower.

Sarim Sheikh, President & CEO of GE Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan added, “As a long-term partner in supporting the power generation industry of Pakistan, we are committed to bringing the world’s leading technologies that assure the highest levels of productivity and efficiency. The first fire and synchronization at Balloki is another example of our focus on working with our partner to deliver the projects as per schedule, which is now being brought online after the synchronization of Bhikki and Haveli Bahadur Shah power plants.”

Weighing nearly 400 tons, the 9HA is the result of a US$2 billion investment by GE Power. Its record-setting efficiency is delivered with the help of GE’s Digital Power Plant capabilities, which help to unlock power that had previously been inaccessible. The turbine’s digital control system uses real-time data to deliver better plant outcomes with stable and efficient operations, while providing valuable predictive insights for higher reliability and optimization.

 In June 2016, GE set a world record for powering the world’s most efficient combined-cycle power plant  – EDF’s Bouchain facility in France – with its HA technology. The 9HA, which offers industry-leading flexibility, allows customers to maintain stable power production and reliably accommodate grid variations through quick start up, rapid load changes and other features. Reaching full load in less than 30 minutes, the HA can deliver reliable and flexible operations not just for large power plants and utilities but also for captive power plants or smaller grids.

Pakistan is the first country in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and South Asia region to use the 9HA gas turbines. GE has supported the development of energy, transportation and healthcare infrastructure in Pakistan for more than 50 years. Today, GE-built technologies can generate the equivalent power needed to supply up to 25 per cent of the country’s electricity.



National Power Parks Management Company Limited (NPPMCL) is a wholly owned company of the Government of Pakistan engaged in setting up the Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) power plants to meet the energy demand in Pakistan.

About GE:

GE (NYSE: GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About GE Power:

GE Power is a world leader in power generation with deep domain expertise to help customers deliver electricity from a wide spectrum of fuel sources. We are transforming the electricity industry with the digital power plant, the world’s largest and most efficient gas turbine, full balance of plant, upgrade and service solutions as well as our data-leveraging software. Our innovative technologies and digital offerings help make power more affordable, reliable, accessible and sustainable.

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