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Guy DeLeonardo, general manager of GE Power’s Gas Power Systems business, told VIR’s Hoang Anh about the company’s efforts to provide better technologies to help growing Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, improve their widespread electrification and environmental protection.
You’ve mentioned before that the cost of natural gas is decreasing globally. Could you elaborate on this point?
I have spoken to a lot of gas companies and other companies in Asia, and usually my first question is how they see the future of imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). Most of the industry sees the future of imported LNG down, at $8 per million BTU.
But here’s what matters: even at $8, HA technology is the answer. It is directly related to the fuel cost, the hours per year, and how many megawatts (MW) you generate in a combined cycle.
GE signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vietnam’s leading oil and gas group PetroVietnam last May, to co-operate on the development of two 750MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plants. The two plants are scheduled to start operation in 2023-2024. Will they make full use of GE’s HA technology?
Indeed, it makes a lot of sense for our customers to utilise the proven, record-breaking technology for future projects. In Vietnam, we work not only with PetroVietnam, but also with other key stakeholders in the Blue Whale project value chain, to assess whether the whole gas development process and the timeline and gas quality from the gas field fit the HA gas turbines. From early on, we thought this project was a great application for the 9HA.02 gas turbines.
Some of these turbines are on order from Malaysia right now and we will start shipping in the fourth quarter of this year. We expect to get a request for a proposal for the HA turbines in Vietnam’s market next year. The project’s target commercial operation date is 2023.
The global price of natural gas, the fuel for HA turbines, has been on a decline. However, this does not seem to be the case in Vietnam. Will this affect the feasibility of gas power plants?
It depends on the where and when. Had you asked me two years ago about the price of imported LNG, I would have said that it would be $14-16 per million BTU. I spoke to a lot of gas companies in the US, the Middle East, and Asia, and most of the industry sees the future price of imported LNG down at $8 per million BTU. This means HA is the answer.
Do you expect more orders to come from Vietnam, and how much will the HA help power producers raise efficiency?
This relies on Vietnam’s power development master plan towards 2030 with the goal of doubling the country’s power generation capacity. I would like to say there are no more economical ways to generate power from fuel than the HA technology.