Today, I would like to share my past experience in Yenikoy thermal power plant . I will try to avoid technical jargon, or at least try to minimise it while telling the story.
On 19th December 1994, upon invitation of the power plant management, together with Mr. Barney Baker from Babcock & Wilcox Ohio, USA, we visited the site.
There are three power plants close to each other, at the same SouthWest corner of Turkey, where Yatagan is designed to generate 3x210 Mwe, Yenikoy should generate 2x210 Mwe and the last thermal power plant Kemerkoy at the seaside is designed to generate 3x210 Mwe.
We stayed in the plant guest house for 2 days. We had our protective heavy work cloths, barets, protective gloves and hard shoes to inspect the boiler inside. We inspected the complete boilers, one after another almost every inch, from bottom wall to all four side walls, as well as roof wall.
Let me try to explain what we have found in the end,
The original contractor, so-called reputable East European company designed the boiler and put almost no compensation mechanism to their boiler water tubes walls. In simple words, the water tube walls were heated when fuel (lignite coal) was fired, the boiler tube walls get hot, want to expand but they can not expand since there is no adequate expansion mechanism, therefore they are bended, become round or even broken under heavy heat load. So simple.
It was so on all boiler walls, however that was compensated geometrically at side walls, but on the roof, it was so apparent that the complete roof surface was like rough sea wave, all sinusoidal surface.
In all thermal power plant steam boiler designs, you put certain compensation detail to all directions in order to compensate the expansion.
That missing detail was also repeated in all other nearby power plants, which were constructed by the same East European company
The power plant engineers were aware of that important issue, but they had nothing to make any correction, nor any initiative to make any remedy
The other major problem was due to incoming poor quality local lignite mine. Plant was designed to fire lignite with around 2000 kcal/kg lower heating value. Incoming Lignite has average 1000. Incoming lignite was to be cleaned, should be free from unburnable stones, soil, etc, should be enriched with water floating process etc.
It was fed as received, by machines in the open coal mine, no cleaning.
So all unburnable material (stone, soil etc) were grinded with no purpose, fed into the steam boilers with no heat output. Plant was feeding unnecessary amount of supplementary fuel oil in order to fire the poor quality lignite in the boiler.
Third missing issue was inadequate number of soot blowers. You should clean the boiler walls in every 8-hour shift with steam. They had high content of calcium in the incoming lignite. That calcium compositions were stuck to boiler wall, and they had almost minimum wall cleaning due to inadequate number of steam blowing soot blowers. Result was power output drop from 210 MWE to 150 Mwe in a few months. They stop the power plant and clean the inside surfaces with pressured water for 1-month each time before start-up again.
So power plant needed for major rehabilitation, expansion details were to be added to all walls, especially to the roof water tube walls, more soot blowers were to be assembled, and incoming poor quality lignite has to be washed, improved, cleaned before feeding into boilers.
We prepared our site report upon return to our offices, with photographs and sketches, and delivered to the power plant administration. All our work was free-of-charge,
Since then power plants were operated as explained above.
One day, one after another, all steam boilers stopped. No more.
They had inefficient dust filters, unreasonable amount of boiler tube failures, no flue gas desulphurization etc.
Local environmentalists reacted, and the public enterprise in charge of power plant operation decided to cease the power plant operation in these 3 power plants.
For a while, administration wanted to sell the plants to private companies. Nobody wanted to purchase. They had to have rehabilitation. Then world bank announced a rehabilitation fund to rehabilitate the plants, with some addition by the public administration. Now that is in international tendering.
In market economy, in complete private ownership, you do not work with a client whose performance is not good, who delivered a poor product, a poor system. There is a saying that “you cannot cheat a client twice, three impossible.”
In Erdemir Iron & Steel mills plant, once a reputable Italian company has received a big thermal power plant order. They are to fire heavy fuel oil to generate 180 tons of high pressure steam at maximum continuous capacity, but in any case they could not reach above 140 tons per hour.
So Erdemir administration blacklisted the company, but also blacklisted all Italian companies.
When we received the 5th power plant steam boiler order, we were requested to replace all Italian supplies, steam boiler tubes, valves, fittings, fans, pumps etc. all.
A foreign company receives a big important order to construct a high capacity power plant, they cannot satisfy the expected performance values, you do not disqualify them in the second power plant, then you invite for the third power plant. All three power plants are failure. Then you invite them for rehabilitation. You should disqualify at the upfront.
Now we have a rehab tender with a budget figure between 80- 100 m US Dollars.
After evaluation of the proposals, you invite the original supplier for rehabilitation since their price is the lowest.
Rule. You should not invite the original company to the rehabilitation tender.
Rule. You should not award the lowest price
Rule. A foreign company cannot make the rehabilitation
They make some activity, receive their money or go to arbitration and leave the country never come back
Rehabilitation has to be made by the local companies
They made the correct design, appropriate design to fire the available indigenous l ignite, they cannot escape to anywhere
You should not wait that long for rehabilitation of the power plants
Local public R&D funds are to be spent for this purpose to develop local engineering
Young engineers are paid properly, they work hard as elsewhere even much better for a local accomplishment
Foreign companies can escape in case of performance failure, local companies cannot escape, they are destined to succeed
You gain local experience and expertise to use your local coal mines, as well as your own engineering capabilities
Never leave your kitchen to strangers, get control over your own house kitchen
Get control over your power plants to operate properly, make design changes by yourself,
The World Bank funds are not free-of- charge, we shall pay back together
Rehabilitation works are not so difficult, this is not space technology. We are talking about some bundles of boiler tubes. A country with F-16 fabrication plant, can do much easier work in thermal power plants. Our young engineers can do much better, they are no different than other counterparts, I believe that even much better
In Yenikoy thermal power plant,
You will add expansion joint details to all steam boiler tube walls to avoid tube failure
You will add ample number of soot blower to clean the inside boiler surfaces and operate them
You will clean the incoming poor quality lignite prior to boiler feed,
You will trust to your own young engineers, you give them enough hardware and software tools for proper design,
We engineers all use the similar or same softwares and hardwares
You will support local academicians and your local young engineers with public R&D funds
You should support your local companies to handle all design work,
You should not stay under mercy of foreign companies,
If you do, not at the mercy of East European designers or contractors only,
but today Chinese and Indians, or Koreans will do your own homework on your behalf,
Today it is in Yenikoy, tomorrow it is in Afsin Elbistan-A rehabilitation.
We need to learn from our past experience.
Your evaluations and contributions will be highly appreciated