The product of a joint development between General Electric (GE) and Electricité de France (EDF), the Bouchain power station (northern France) was just inaugurated on June 17th. With a capacity of 605 MW, the combined cycle power plant is equipped with the latest GE gas turbine, the GE9HA.01 and a CMI boiler. The plant provides an outstanding world-first in fuel efficiency of 62.22%, which has been registered in the Guinness World Records book.
Tackling all the challenges
CMI designed and delivered a heat recovery boiler that meets the level of GE’s most efficient turbine, the GE9HA.01, its first reference in Europe. The new generation of CMI boiler addresses all the challenges imposed by this demanding technology, allowing to generate significantly higher temperatures, outputs and pressures than usual. Beyond its performances and thanks to its adapted and optimized design, the CMI boiler brings a high flexibility while ensuring quicker start-ups.
Performance recorded in the Guinness book
Built on a former coal plant site, the Bouchain power plant has been designed to meet the dual challenges of flexibility and efficiency for 50 hertz systems in a European context of intermittent renewable energies. Subject to frequent starts and stops, the power train (gas turbine, CMI HRSG and steam turbine) is able to reach its maximum power in less than 30 minutes. Eventually, the plant generates a 62.22% efficiency, a world first which allows this reference plant to enter the Guinness World Records book.
Pioneering innovations and developments
To develop this boiler, the CMI Energy engineers have made true technological advances and technical-economic optimization. So that the materials can withstand temperatures of approximately 600° C, the superheaters and reheaters are made from stainless steel rather than conventional steel alloys. Major challenges also had to be addressed at the dissymmetric welds between the alloy steels and stainless steel. It is one of the reasons why CMI invested in creating a Welding Expertise Center, now fully operational and located at the CMI site in Seraing (Belgium).
New era in steam generation
The CMI developments made on this project are in response to an evolving high-powered gas turbine market. They are also pioneering features because the steam cycles now often exceed the 600°C temperature at which the use of stainless steel is required. These technological advances, and particularly the Bouchain boiler reference, allow CMI to win new boiler orders associated with large H and J class gas turbines. Let us cite boilers that CMI is developing for the Hamitabat Turkey combined cycle site and that of Topolobampo II in Mexico.
This new stage in CMI technological development marks a new era in steam generation. It was made possible thanks to the expertise, know-how, and innovative spirit of CMI Energy teams, resolutely aimed toward the future.