Dear Energy Professional, Dear Colleagues,
Here at this end of the globe, your writer sincerely advocates ratification of Kyoto protocol, more utilization of local coal/ wind/ hydro sources, more thermal power plants with clean coal technologies i.e. Circulating Fluid Bed (CFB), Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC), firing local low quality lignite, more emphasis on national energy supply security, more professional education and creation of engineering backbone in nuclear technology, more green employment in green technology.
Within his humble capacity he tries to create a national common understanding all available and open to public scrutinizing/ upgrading. Your writer has recently received the Turkish annual thermal power plant outlook as of year end 2007, and carefully reviewed the report in detail and finally he had following horror story
The public power plant operation administration has received critics on the firing systems of the existing thermal power plants. They placed an order for a feasibility if that is correct to change the firing systems to CFB or keep as it is with renewal of the dust collecting systems, adding Flue Gas DeSulphurisation (FGD) and other environmental control facilities.
The foreign engineering company has advised then the ladder, keeping the existing systems of pulverized firing. Why? I tell you why. Because they have no CFB firing references in their affiliated Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sister companies. So they receive million US Dollar engineering feasibility payments and advise the authority "do it as you do earlier"
The misery of that feasibility is that this country cannot prepare the same feasibility within her own intellectual power, unable to utilize the young brains, without running the same design software, but asking foreign companies to assist us. It is "beggar’s economy" for all beggars.
The outcome is that AfsinElbistan thermal power plants Unit A and B will not be changed to CFB but will be continued with the existing pulverized coal firing system, which is a proven failure for many years in the past. It is for sure that CFB and IGCC are better firing systems for Afsin Elbistan local coal. It is not incorrect to say that we do not need to pay a feasibility study to foreign engineering companies in order to certify that bare fact which is proven in the past 20 years of plant operation in Afsin.
Another misery is in ash dam construction. There is no ash dam in Afsin Elbistan Unit-B. It is under construction period and it is expected to be completed in 3 (three years) time. In that next 3 years, the collected ash will be kept in the open space next to the thermal power plant and continue to pollute the environment. Misery is that, the color photo of that disaster is in the 2007 annual report back page.
When we review the rehabilitation contracts, we shall find that all rehab orders are given to the original foreign suppliers of east European countries who are complete failure in their contracts. They should be disqualified upfront. To verify that statement, one should review the latest rehabilitation awards given in the power plants, Soma-B, Kangal, Yenikoy, Catalagzi-B. They are given to OEM companies with poor design and operations records of the past, in the same plants.
When a plant initiates a rehabilitation procedure, then the plant becomes immune to all environmental measures. Hence they continue the rehab contract without planning to complete, since they have no more obligations. They prolong the contract period, and do nothing for adding new dust collectors, ElectroStatic Precipitators (E/P), FGD systems, there is no haste for new ash dam, nothing for the new control upgrades, and nothing for more plant availability.
In the 2007 figures we come up with low capacity, low availability rates in all plants, which are important indications of urgent need for immediate privatization. In privatization scheme, the public authority should eliminate the caste system in prevailing tendering procedures. At present, wealthy government-friendly individuals and government- friendly companies occupy a higher caste, foreign businesses and smaller companies are deliberately treated as lower castes. If this is to become a fair, open, international tender, then they must implement equal rights for all parties, and for all types of corporation and investors.
We also need to change the paradigm. Public should leave the electricity generation. Private enterprises should run the plants with clear appraisal and monitoring by public and private institutions. With these principles in mind, we should get the crucial implementations in the future. Your comments are always welcome
Haluk Direskeneli is an Ankara-based Energy Analyst