With the recent market price trends for natural gas and collective efforts toward more eco-friendly strategies, cycle efficiency has become even more appealing for baseload and cycling generation. Combined cycle power plants have gained a traction in global markets, claiming a significant portion of the total power generation portfolio over the past years.
As a leading industrial player active in the construction and development of power plants and world-class turbines, MAPNA Group has been pursuing the conversion of single-cycle gas power plants into combined cycle facilities for almost three decades.
The Group began converting simple cycle power plants into combined cycle plants in the early 1990s in line with the quest to realize high performance, low-cost, and more eco-friendly power production rate in Iran.
Conversion to combined-cycle power plants is one of the most effective ways to improve thermal power plants’ efficiency; i.e., adding a 160-MW steam turbine to two operating 159-MW gas turbines (building a full combined-cycle block) can increase a plant’s productivity rate from 34% to 50% without burning any additional fuel.
Combined-cycle power plants may appear unattractive at first due to the higher cost and longer duration of their construction; however, when considering the long-term advantages of combined-cycle power plants, such as increased efficiency, availability, and power production, as well as lower emissions, it is clear that they are much more efficient, both economically and environmentally.
Combined-cycle plants have numerous advantages when it comes to domestic economy. Iran's power industry is almost self-sufficient, capable of producing steam turbines, generators, boilers, electric and control systems, constructing advanced infrastructure, installing power equipment, operating plants, providing facilities, and procuring spare parts. As a result, the conversion campaign can be a boost to Iran’s power industry and can benefit domestic companies active in this sector.
It's worth noting that steam units of combined-cycle plants and renewable energy farms provided 25% of Iran's total power in fiscal year 2018-2019. That means, the country was able to generate a quarter of its necessary electricity without the use of fossil fuels.
According to data released by the Energy Ministry, about 41.94 million MWh of the total 79.46 million MWh of electricity produced in the 2018-2019 fiscal year was generated through combined-cycle units, resulting in the reduction of around 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas consumption.
It is currently possible to add 7,500 megawatts to Iran’s power output capacity just by converting thermal power plants into combined cycles.
The conversion of those units will help reduce the country’s annual gas consumption by 12 billion cubic meters, increase thermal plants’ efficiency to over 42%, and cut green gas emission by 43 million tons per annum.
Thermal power plants currently have a 36% share in the country's total gas demand; therefore, making power plants will lead to a huge fuel consumption cut and subsequently a significant potential to boost natural gas exports.
Benefits of Making the Switch
Conversion of gas-fired power plants into combined-cycle blocks is considered a golden opportunity to meet electricity demand with minimum change in fossil fuel consumption.
Merging every two gas units into a combined-cycle block will add 160MW to plants’ output with no further fuel consumption; this means an annual cost reduction of 10 billion USD for the country.
Moving to steam power is part of the government policy to convert simple-cycle plants into combined-cycle units to boost efficiency. The Iranian Energy Ministry has successfully pursued this goal by various projects in power production, transmission and distribution networks, expressing readiness to cooperate with contractors under buyback agreements.
MAPNA Group, with almost three decades of experience in the power sector, has what it takes to convert other simple cycle plants across the country into combined cycle blocks. Construction of combined-cycle power plants is part of the Group’s environmental policies that include obtaining environmental certifications, increasing the efficiency of manufactured products through collaboration with the global giants and acquiring up-to-date knowledge and expertise to meet diverse customer needs.
The registration of Genaveh’s Combined-Cycle Power Plant project in United the Nations as the first CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) scheme in Iran is one of the most significant achievements of MAPNA’s environmental policies.
The Energy Ministry has also acclaimed a number of MAPNA’s combined-cycle plants, including Shirvan, Sanandaj and Jahrom, for following CDM scheme protocols.
It is MAPNA Group’s mission to provide high power plants that help maintain its customers’ position in performance and quality.