In regions developing rapidly but deprived of natural gas, gas turbines (GT) in combined cycles (CC) fired on Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) can represent effective and environmentally viable power generation options.

The 300 MW Yugadanavi plant in Sri Lanka, which features two 9E GTs burning low-sulfur HFO, best exemplifies this specific situation. This project was fast-tracked in 2006, when the country started its fast development and the national grid needed fast power additions and frequency stability. Since 2008, it has been supplying 200 MWe to the Ceylonese grid, in simple cycle. Then in 2010, its capacity rose up to 300 MWe without any extra fuel consumption, after its conversion to a combined cycle.

In November 2016, Yugadanavi has completed 55,000 hours of successful operation, has generated 6,000 TWh and burned 1 million tons of HFO achieving on average efficiency and reliability performances as high as 44% and 96% respectively.

Starting 2010, LTL and GE joined their efforts in plant upgrade initiatives. In 2014 they demonstrated an efficient method to reduce the smoke emissions, using benign combustion catalysts. Within a next upgrade step, a new vanadium inhibition technology has been field-tested in 2015–2016, which enables improving the availability and energy performances of the plant by namely increasing the firing temperature of the gas turbines.

After recalling the key milestones of this significant HFO project, the joint paper will outline the operation experience and positive environmental outcomes of the developments carried out within an LTL-GE collaboration, with a special emphasis on the most recent results obtained with the new inhibition technology.

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