Monday, April 18, 2016

Appropriate boiler technology for local coal in Turkey

Appropriate Boiler Technology for Local Coal in Turkey

Contrary to popular belief, in Turkey we have reliable low-calorific-value domestic coal firing thermal power plants that have proven themselves over the years in their long-term operations. We have them, so let's name them:

Soma-B #5-6, Seyitömer #4, Kangal #3, Afşin-B.

Operating for the last 20-30 years, all of these plants are very reliable in firing domestic low-quality coal. Up until now they have solved any problems that have arisen in their burning of low-calorific-value domestic coal. They may have some other shortcomings, and these should also be solved in time.

If they have difficulty in soot blowing, they should acquire more soot blowers.
If their dust filters don’t meet emission standards, they should build bigger dust filters.
If they don’t have flue gas desulphurization (FGD) technologies, they should get them.
If their NOx emissions do not meet required national standards, they should add Low-NOx burners, and if this is still not enough, then they should install a selective catalytic reactor (SCR).

Investors who have invested in new domestic coal firing thermal power plants have not disclosed the results of their investments so far. There are neither success stories nor announcements of high efficiency; there is no information on the progress of these projects. Leaked news is not so encouraging however. Once a big thermal power plant project is completed, the project results are shared by everyone. This is an acceptable exercise in public relations, an acceptable way to advertise to the market.

We read the reports, academic papers, listen to conference presentations, and we congratulate our peers and share their experiences. Over the past 10 years, new investments have primarily focused on on circulating fluidized bed (CFB) technology, but nothing has been disclosed about these investments to the public.

On the other hand, there are lots of presentations, commercial and academic papers, articles, and news reports on CFB technology itself, and all of this is available for public access.

Yet there is a piercing silence on this technology’s application in Turkey when it comes to the investments in indigenous coal firing power plants. Until now, nobody has explained anything. Billions of US dollars have been invested in these plants. Yet there is no technical evaluation, no information, nothing. After evaluating the secrecy with which this situation is being handled, my humble comments are as follows.

It is clear that our low-calorific-value local coal with 50-55% moisture (water content) is almost impossible to fire without pre-heating and dehumidification. It can’t be fired properly without installing dewatering systems. Excessive amounts of supplementary oil-fueled firing is necessary to fire the coal if delivered to boiler combustion chambers as is.

In this sense, companies from the Far East offered their off-the-shelf CFB designs to our local investors as a panacea, backed up by cheap prices and cheap financing by their Exim banks funds.

They impressed our local investors with their ultra cheap prices. However, their   CFB technology is not capable of firing our high-moisture, low-heating-value local coal. So in the end, top management decision-makers at local investor companies are aware of this situation, and because they made these incorrect decisions, they don’t want to make a sound until they retire.

Your writer believes that the appropriate technology to fire our domestic coal can be found in the 4x350 MWE producing Afşin-B plant, which employs “indirect pre-heating pulverized coal firing” coal combustion technology. The German Company that designed this technology went bankrupt due to various financial reasons at home. The company withdrew from the market and is not active anymore. But the designers and engineers of this technology are still working in the commercial environment.

This company’s subcontractors, Turkish companies, upgraded their standing and became leading engineering companies serving worldwide in the construction of new thermal power plants. There are also other reputable local companies with similar references.

Our experienced engineering contractor companies can recreate the original designs very easily in time if the opportunity would be given to the private entrepreneurship. Those companies can also employ the original designers in their local design offices as expatriate consultants if need be. In this way, we could ask our engineering companies for their quotes for 150-350 MWE thermal power plants. I believe that they have such a capability to deliver in time.

Our local engineering companies have a sufficient number of references, ample work experience, and strong competencies. Therefore we should employ domestic engineering, fabrication, construction, contracting, as well as domestic labor. We all know that there are hundreds of thousands of engineers working in international contracting companies. We can bring together the same number of local engineers. Foreign companies employ people like us, there is no difference.

After an overseas construction job is completed, the international contractor normally fulfills the contractual requirements, operates the plant during the commissioning phase and temporary acceptance period, receives the final acceptance, and then leaves the plant. After that the operator is left alone to run the plant and to deal with all the problems that arise in time.

If the contractor is in the home country, then they are responsible for operating the thermal power plant during its entire operation, maybe for 20-30 years. Contractors have to solve every problem and satisfy the client at all times in cases when accidents or troubles arise. If they do not, then the client not only stops working with that company, but expresses to all others in the market their displeasure. This results in a veritable death sentence for the contracting company.

Continuous work with your client keeps you alive, fit, and helps you to improve your design and technology; and perhaps most importantly it makes you more competitive in the global market.

---

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Prinkipo, 17 April 2016

Thursday, April 07, 2016

#PanamaPapers in Turkey


"Panama Connection"

Let me tell you a story you from the distant past. It was years and years ago. As a major contracting company, they were unable to get any orders from big public sector organizations. No matter how much they bid and bid, and fulfilled all the necessary requirements, in the end they never got any positive results.

One day a gentleman came to their office. He said, “Make a consulting agreement with me and let me provide you with full information on the tender”. They signed an agreement with his company in Panama and sent a lump sum of money to their offshore account for consulting services.

After this, a new tender was opened, everything was kept extremely secret. All interested parties were required to submit their proposal dossiers in sealed envelopes. They all handed in their documents 5 minutes before the closing time of the tender.

After their proposal documents were submitted, they were requested to leave the offices immediately in order to avoid any undesired flow of verbal information. Client locked their doors behind us. Everything was arranged behind closed doors. Participants were later asked to declare a second, lower bid price. Blind price quoting without any inside information on competitors has no meaning. However, on that evening, their consultant sent a fax to Company's Ankara office containing all the information on their rivals’ prices.

If there is an information leak within a public institution, it most likely originates from the top, as the lower cadres wouldn’t dare to engage in such an activity. Such occurs not only in our geography, but all over the world.

As a young engineer who recently graduated from university, I thought that this must be “the way things work”.  Since then, time has passed, all of those top decision makers have retired, and the public company at hand was privatized, sold and eventually disappeared from the market. Over all of these years, these archaic procedures have continued and improved.

Today we see new procedures. Your applications for tenders will not be answered unless you are close to the top political administrators, so you should look for new opportunities in Russia’s remote regions or in the Middle East. Considering this, how can we continue to run businesses in such a fragile economy? Can we bear the burden of ever increasing costs? The system has been closed and locked, and hence the economy and investment climate are also inaccessible. Even the works of the privileged few have faced this reality.

***

I’ve had a difficult time understanding why we have shrouded natural gas prices in secrecy for so many years. I have also always envied the high investment placed in education by our northern neighbor Russia, their skilled mathematicians, their excellent market strategists. Our human capital has difficulty in matching theirs when it comes to trade negotiations in particular. Moreover, this is augmented by the fact that we should drastically and urgently reduce our dependence on their fuel supply. They will surely exploit our disadvantageous situation as long as this dependence continues.

If a trade agreement is kept behind closed doors, there is always some aspect thereof that goes against the people’s common benefit, there is always some aspect that favors top decision makers. The details of the Turkish Stream and Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) negotiations are still unclear. What shall we receive in return for what we concede? What will be the extent of this, our northern neighbor’s Christmas gift?

We know that Russian President Vladimir Putin has an Ph.D. degree in energy economics. There are rumors that ghost writers brought together the wording of his academic dissertation. Anyhow, that is his thesis. Nonetheless, he completely assimilated the content of academic discipline with his office. Compared to his preparations, our decision makers fumble when it comes to academic and practical learning.

At the end of WWII, regardless of the huge human losses they paid on the eastern front, our northern neighbor crushed the last resistance of the Nazi German Army in May 1945. They then turned to the Far East and crushed the Japanese Army in Manchuria in August 1945.

Similarly, the country has now entered with its full weight into the Syrian theater in the most recent phase of the conflict. They have come to Syria for a long, if not permanent stay. Syria is now commencing a long-term accession to Russian territory as had also been the case for Eastern Europe and Manchuria.

We do not have weapons that can counter Russia’s SU-34 fighter planes or its T-90 war tanks. We should have designed and manufacture these weapons much earlier. There’s nothing more we can do right now other than trying to remain peaceful and independent.


***
"Après moi le deluge", Madame de Pompadour

I continue to be optimistic for our markets. We do not have the luxury to say, “après moi le deluge” (after me, the deluge). I would say that when the appropriate time comes, then we shall be able to prioritize market transparency, accountability, independent monitoring, rule of law, separation of powers, freedom of expression, and independent free media, and it is at that time when we can engage in better practices of parliamentary democracy, the results of which will allow for a better future.

As long as we have the freedom to choose in free elections, we should believe in and trust the common sense and common wisdom of the voters of this nation.

Haluk Direskeneli is a graduate of METU’s Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He has worked in public and private enterprises, in American, Turkish, and JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, in marketing, and in sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as a freelance consultant and energy analyst with thermal power plants as well as using his basic and detailed design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of the METU Alumni and the Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Prinkipo, Istanbul, 08 April 2016


Friday, March 25, 2016

Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) or Pulverized Coal Firing (PCF) Dilemma


for Appropriate Local Boiler Technology

Do we have reliable low calorific value domestic coal firing thermal power plants, proven itself with long term in operation? Yes we have, let's name them
Soma-B # 5-6, Seyitömer # 4, Kangal #3, Afşin-B.

These power plants have proved themselves in operation for last 20-30 years. All these plant are very reliable in domestic low quality coal firing. They solved their problems of low calorific value domestic coal burning. They may have some other shortcomings which should also be solved in time.
They may have difficulty in soot blowing, so you must add up more number of soot blowers.
Their dust filters may not meet emission standards, so you should build bigger dust filters.
If there is no FGD (flue gas desulphurisation), so you must add a new one.
If NOx emissions do not meet required national standards, so you add Low-NOx burners, if still not enough, then you install SCR ( Selective Catalytic Reactor).

Those investors who invested on domestic coal firing thermal power plants, do not disclose the results of their investments so far. There are no success stories, no high efficiency, no high availability information told. Leaked news are not so encouraging. One a big thermal power plant project is completed, the project results are shared by everyone. This is an acceptable public relations activity, an acceptable advertising in the market. We read the reports, academic papers, listen to conference presentations, we congratulate our peers and share their experiences. Over the past 10-years, the new investments are carried out mainly on CFB technology, but there is nothing disclosed in those investments, nothing shared with public.

On the other hand there are lots of presentations, commercial and academic papers, articles, news reports everywhere all available for public access.
There is a deep silence on these on indigenous coal firing power plants mostly with the new CFB technology to burn low calorific value local coal. Until now, nobody explained anything. Billions of US $ were invested for those plants. Hence there is no technical evaluation, no information, nothing. After evaluating this secret situation, my humble comment is as follows,

It is found so clear that our low calorific value local coal with 50-55% moisture (water) is almost impossible to fire without pre-heating, dehumidification, and could not be fired properly without installing dewatering systems. Excessive amounts of supplementary fuel oil firing is necessary to fire the coal if delivered to boiler combustion chamber as-is.

FarEast companies offered their off-the-shelf CFB designs to our local investors, as a panacea, backed by cheap prices and cheap financing by Exim banks funds.
They impressed our local investors with their ultra cheap prices. However their CFB technology does not meet to fire our high moisture low heating value local coal. So in the end, top management decision makers of local investor companies are aware of the current situation that they made the investment decision. Until their time for retirement, they do not make any sound and stay silent.

Your writer believes that the appropriate technology to fire our domestic coal is in Afşin-B plant 4x350MWE, which has "indirect pre-heating pulverized coal firing" coal combustion technology. The original designer German Company went bankruptcy due to various financial reasons at their homeland. Company withdrew from the market, and is not active anymore. But designers, engineers are still working in the commercial environment.

Their subcontractor Turkish companies (let us name them Gama, Tekfen, Tokar) upgraded themselves and became leader engineering companies serving worldwide to build new thermal power plants. Enka, Prokon, Efor companies have similar references.

Our experienced engineering contractor companies can recreate the original proven designs very easily in time if opportunity is placed to the private entrepreneurship. Those companies can also employ the original designers in their local design offices as expatriate consultants if they really need so. So you can ask our engineering companies to quote for 150-350 MWe thermal power plants. I believe that they have such capability to bring together such work in time.

Our local engineering companies have sufficient number of references, ample work experience and competency. So we employ domestic engineering, fabrication, construction, contracting, as well as domestic labour. We all know that there are hundreds thousands of engineers working in international contracting companies. We can bring together the same number of local engineers. Foreign companies employ people like us, there is no difference.

After an overseas construction job is completed, the contractor fulfills the contractual requirements, operate the plant in commissioning, temporary acceptance period, get the completion and receives the final acceptance, then leaves the plant. After that the operator is all alone to run the plant with all problems appearing later in time.

If the contractor is in the home country, then they are responsible to operate the thermal power plant all life long maybe 20-30 years operation. Contractor has to solve every problem, satisfy the client at all times in case problems, accidents, troubles arise. If not, then the client not only stops working with you, but tells all others in the market their displeasure that you can not work any more.

Continuous work with your client keeps you alive, fit, and helps you to improve your design and your technology, makes you competitive in the global market.

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Ankara, 18 February 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What exactly does an Editor do?



While I was working for an American Turkish joint venture company, I was supposed to write "Minutes of Meeting" at the end of each business meeting weather it was with clients, contractors or with staff and distribute to the attendees. The reciprocal party also writes their own document and distribute to the related parties. If there were mismatches or misunderstandings between these documents, then we would make the necessary corrections and agree on what we discussed in the meeting. So you avoid any mistakes or mismatches and keep your written records to apply in future, you are away from verbal memory errors.

Since then time has passed. For last three years, I am writing weekly column on local energy problems which mainly consist of my past notes reflecting my past experiences, both in Turkish as well as in English.

The draft article first appears in my personal web page to be corrected and updated with comments, criticisms, recommendations. My Editor makes the last review, and if we feel that the draft article has come to maturity, then we publish on paper newspaper then go live on web site.

The same process goes under way in the English text of the article. My native English speaker American Editor is more ruthless than our local Turkish Editor. "I'm not a technical person. I am an ordinary reader. You can not post an article I do not understand," s/he says. The corrected/ edited last English version of the article is usually much more different than the first draft.

Publication of an article without any editorial supervision is not correct. An article can not be published without the editor. Editor who does not know you personally, is better for you. S/he makes corrections clearer, more honest, more ruthless. Reader comments are also very useful. I consider those reader comments very seriously. Sometimes I throw the draft text and completely rewrite the article. "Delete" key does work for this purpose..

His/her writings are very valuable to a writer. S/he do not accept the amendment, nor accept any pressure to modify. On the other hand, there are physical limitations on the article. Text should be written brief. There should be no empty wording, no long sentences. It should be easy to read. Ordinary readers should read and understand easily. Incomprehensible, special abbreviations should be avoided, long descriptions should be given upfront mainly for abbreviations.

There are rules of the column articles. Article should cover two A4 pages long, and not exceed 500-700 words, preferably, in "Times New Roman" or "Ariel", written with 10-12 fonts. It should be perfect in spell check, perfect in expression, free from logical errors. Editors should understand what they read. Ordinary reader should also understand. Article should be friendly, relaxed, simple, and convincing.

Editor are good, if they think and express their evaluations straight forward, without diversion, should the ability to tell the swindle. You need an editor who says bluntly, expressing what he feels on your precious document. This is the job of the editor. I asked experienced publisher my situation. "Your draft book is of the more technical, ordinary readers does not understand, so they do not buy, and we do not publish it is hard work you you," he said. There is more in article writing. Technical article, should be "technical" in nature. It should not disturb or accuse anyone. It should not target any person, organization or company. The reader should agree with the writer in the end. Our job is too difficult.

If you think for business books, our job is more difficult.
The same rules are applied also there. Only text can be longer.

My Draft English eBooks stand on the internet as a pdf at the following web page. https://metu.academia.edu/halukdireskeneli/

My Pdf Ebook in English, has received more than 2000+ downloads around the world by the last 3-months. I stopped searching Publisher. If anyone likes the Ebook, he can download and get the output you want on paper. If it was printed on paper, that was the number I would expect to sell on bookshelves of bookstores.

---
Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Ankara, 18 February 2016

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

#BernieSanders, #NHPrimary


Is America ready for a Jewish president?

US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is getting serious in public opinion polls. It is so exciting to watch debates, polls, and speeches, on CNN, NBC, ABC, and BBC TV channels early in the morning our time, similar to watching a football match.

Bernie Sanders (74) is a New York native, Jewish American born in 1941. He received his graduate diploma in Political Science from the University of Chicago. Formerly, he was a mayor and member of the House of Representatives, and he is currently serving as Vermont Senator, as he has been for the last two terms. Public polls rate him better than both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders has received humble donations from workers, their trade unions, and from individual voters. Hillary’s donations are from major corporations, big banks, and financial institutions, which are called super PACs.

During the Vietnam War, a young Bernie Sanders declared himself a "conscientious objector" and did not participate in the Vietnam War. Thus, we know that he is against war. In congress, he voted against the war in Afghanistan, Iraq and even against to war in Syria. In personal armament he is quoted saying, "Guns alone do not kill people, the people who use gun kills other people, so you must protect people's mental health." That is a practical approach since his constituency in Vermont is located in forest land and gun ownership is important for personal safety in Vermont.

He offers to promote the general health insurance system for all to facilitate full access. He says he is a "self-declared socialist, or social democrat, proud to be Jewish but not too religious." In his youth, he spent three months in an Israeli kibbutz in summer time. He speaks basic Hebrew. Occasionally, he is against Israeli war policies but he agrees that Israel has the right to defend its citizens.

He does not have a lot of experience in world politics. His career has focused on domestic politics. No matter whether or not Bernie Sanders will be the next US president, his rival Hillary Clinton will probably be the foreign minister (Secretary of State).

If elected president, care for the environment, global warming, and climate change will most likely be of extreme importance. "Climate change is the greatest security threat to the United States," he says. The Environment Impact Assessment will have extreme importance to EIA standards, in order to increase the new investments for thermal power plant environmental equipment. Bernie Sanders will promote investments in renewable energy, hydro, wind, and solar.

There will be a pollution tax on coal and fossil fuel firing thermal power plants. That will discourage new thermal investments. Investors will escape from fossil fuels and shale gas (fracturing) investments will be discouraged. Environmental, water, air, and soil contamination will be prevented. Long distance gas transmission pipelines (Keystone) will be stopped.

His paternal family and his mother were Ashkenazim East European Jewish immigrants at the turn of 20th century. His paternal relatives that remained in East Europe during World War II disappeared in the Holocaust. Bernie has been married twice. He has an adult son from a woman he dated between his two marriages. He has three stepchildren from his current wife, whom he calls his own.

He has a practical approach to nuclear energy. In Vermont nuclear plant wastes in their selection, he supported the decision to transport nuclear waste from Vermont nuclear plant to the Texas town of Sierra Blanca, which is a poor Hispanic community.

Immigrant American citizens who have recently arrived (including Turkish Americans), disadvantageous minorities, women, the elderly, and retirees vote for Democrats. Weapon manufacturers and rich whites are Republican. Democrats generally remain distant from Turkey, whereas Republicans are closer to Turkey. If Hillary Clinton wins, she will continue the same policy of Barack Obama, she does not offer anything new. But still, she has been unable to give an account on the Benghazi Libya events, in which she was responsible for the loss of the US ambassador.

The US is preparing to have a Jewish senator become the next president, but is the world ready for it? Is our region ready? Jewish Americans have run for president twice, but have failed to succeed in the past. We all are tired of the same family names. Bernie Sanders, with his pacifist tendencies, may be a better choice for our geography for cooling down our unnecessarily bitter relations with the Russians in Syria. Who knows, opportunities may arise for a new formation in the warming relations with Israel, Egypt, and with our neighbors.

Could the castle of capitalism, the US, be run by a socialist/social democratic/Jewish president? Large companies, powerful banks, owners of fossil fuel power plants – would they allow the election of such a man? While the Communist Soviet Union has dissolved and is switching to a market economy, is it likely that the US will be led by a socialist president? Maybe we'll organize panels, invite foreign scholars, and even call US embassy officials to talk.

---

Haluk Direskeneli is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public and private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, and sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as a freelance consultant/energy analyst with thermal power plants and basic/detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of the ODTÜ Alumni and the Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

Ankara, 28 January 2016


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