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Skid order awarded for power plant expansion

Colfax Corporation, a global leader in fluid-handling solutions for critical applications, announced its Allweiler AG business unit will deliver a US$1.4mn fuel injection skid order through Siemens AG for use in gas turbines in Iraq. The skids will be used for power plant expansions in Kirkuk as well as new plants being built in Baiji and Baghdad. The first two skids will be completed in early 2011. The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity has ordered an additional five and has options to purchase three more.

"We have decades of experience in engineering fuel-forwarding systems for power plants, and our unique solution gave us the edge we needed to win this contract," said Clay Kiefaber, president and CEO of Colfax.

Designed for redundancy with two high-pressure pumps, the skids are capable of switching between multiple fuel types within a short time without shutting down the turbines. The rapid fuel change requires the skids to accommodate significant temperature changes and precise control of liquid pressure for proper operation.

"When the turbine is started, we're pumping low-viscosity fuel oil within a temperature range of five to 25 degrees Celsius, but during normal and continuous operation, the system is moving higher-viscosity crude and heavy oil at temperatures up to 130 degrees Celsius," said Johann Engelmann, Allweiler's director of sales and service. "The temperature change is on the order of 60 degrees Celsius per minute."

If pressure decreases during the fuel changeover, gas bubbles will form in the liquid, which may cause severe pump damage and lead to an emergency shutdown of the turbines. The Allweiler skids were designed with a highly refined valve control system capable of reacting quickly to prevent this from occurring.