Mauritius | Energy

October 08, 2013

Energy Sector: The CEB Face the Option of Gas Turbines

An additional bill of Rs 900 million for the five months with CEB repair Sulzer two turbines with cracks.

The Commission recommends Manraj " Engineer's Report" in early 2014 on the operational capacity of CEB and IPPThe report of the NEC : " Persisting with a coal -dominated pathway Will lock the country into an everlasting coal energy future "Cracks found on two turbines of Sulzer brand with a capacity of 24 MW each were given to the fore the debate on the security margin of the Central Electricity Board ( CEB) to meet the demand for electricity in approach of summer.
At this point, the Board of CEB , which met on Monday refrained from making any comment about these problems occurred in one of its most important plants.
However, in order to cope with the situation, the CEB may favor the option of gas turbines, even if the price per kilowatt-hour is four times that of diesel and between six and seven times that of the Independent Power Producers ( IPP ) .
In parallel, the National Energy Commission ( NEC ), chaired by Dev Manraj , Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister's Office , held the challenge to complete its report with a recommendation on the need for a comprehensive assessment (Engineer 's Report ) on the operational capacity of the CEB and IPP .The problem of cracks in two of the four Sulzer Thermal Power Fort George engines , causing a maximum deficit of 50 MW , challenges all projections in the Energy Matrix of the CEB for the coming months .
On the recommendation of Korean experts , both affected Sulzer engines run at 50 % of capacity as long as the repairs are undertaken and completed . Early indications from unofficial sources claim that these repairs will be spread over a period of five months. At CEB , we will neither confirm nor deny this information.
Hydroelectricity : beware drought
To this end, the CEB will rely on Effective Available Capacity reduced by 50 MW, 418 MW during cutting and 456 MW ??during the offseason .
With peak demand estimated at an average of 492 MW , the deficit in the Reserve Capacity Margin stood at 17.6% and 7.8% respectively .In the economy , another factor must be taken into account . In its initial projections , the CEB setting a contribution of 25 MW from hydroelectric plants . With the severe drought during the last winter , these plants may not be operating as expected.
In an attempt to avoid a Black Christmas , CEB explores two possibilities in tandem , a rescheduling of the program of plant maintenance and , more importantly , a maximum operating gas turbines due to the limited reliability of Pielstick engines station St. Louis, which began operations 30 years and older.The option of power generation from gas turbines is extremely expensive in terms of costs. Specialists in the field confirm that the price of a kWh station Nicolay ( gas turbines) is four times that of diesel , which is around Rs 5.50 . At about Rs 22 per unit for gas turbines , PPIs are significantly more competitive.Subscribers will pay the priceA simple calculation shows that these five months to repair two Sulzer engines , CEB will provide additional expenditure of around Rs 900 million in operating gas turbines to meet demand. Ultimately , subscribers CEB , or taxpayers will pay the price . And if the repair time is extended , the note could be even saltier .
On the other hand , negotiations within the NEC and the CEB have been mastered with the report of the committee ready. Informed sources confirmed that the report should be submitted to the Government for consideration to the Cabinet soon.
The blackout said about the contents of this report seems to be lifted , the first details on the twenty recommendations adopted, 21 to be exact , are already known.These recommendations are divided into two parts , the first dealing with the aspects to avoid Power Deficit and the second focused on the need to " foster a sustainable energy future : moving towars a Green Economy ." As might be expected, the proposal to install four additional turbines running on diesel 15 MW , 60 MW , requiring investment of Rs 3 billion , figures prominently in Chapter urgent action.
The CEB has already initiated procedures for the financing of these investments with the government guarantee .
Other short-term measures adopted by the Commission Manraj are:

  • Initiate consultations before the end of this year with the various stakeholders to "further optimize the service schedule" with the aim of restricting the exercise in February and March ;
  • Establish at the beginning of next year an Engineer 's Report on the operation of all stations in the CEB and IPP capacity ;
  • Speed up the operation of renewable energy projects already identified with a maximum capacity of 60 MW and explore the potential of Sea -Water Air -Conditioning both projects Deep Ocean Water Application ;
  • Adopting amendments to the law encouraging the contribution of small / medium -scale Producers green electricity by the end of this year ;
  • Introduce draft Energy Efficiency and Demand -Side Management in the next three years for savings of 30 MW peak ;
  • Develop a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan;complete as soon as possible to study the reliability of the Liquefied Natural Gas and Compressed Natural Gas, and ;
  • Accelerate the dissemination of photovoltaic farms.

In terms of long-term measures , the NEC advocates updating the Integrated Energy Plan (2012-2023) of the CEB at the beginning of next year to include it looks like the Energy Pathway Two with "the emergence of a new economic sector : the Clean Energy sector " paving the way towards a green economy. Members of the NEC argue that "the energy future of Mauritius is to be Worked out with precision , in line with MID Policy and Energy Pathway Two, through Appropriate modeling exercises and detailed Feasibility Studies " .Towards a Green EconomyOther proposals include:

 

  • Operationalization of the Utility Regulatory Authority no later than the end of this year;
  • Opening an Office of Sustainable Energy Development ( OFSED ) from next year ;
  • Restructuring of the MID Fund and its replacement by a Sustainable Energy Innovation and Development Fund ;
  • The development of a Masterplan for renewable energy with a share of 35% for the CEB ;
  • Revision of the price of bagasse for small and medium farmers.

The mandate of the NEC aims to reduce the importance of coal in the energy mix of the country. " Persisting with a coal -dominated pathway Will lock the country into an everlasting coal energy future , with negative impacts in terms of pollution , health hazards and dependency on fuel imports Costly " , highlights the official document. Manraj The Commission also expressed belief that " there Will Be no power deficit over the 2014-2016 period " if the recommendations are adopted , the proposed thermal power plant of 100 MW coal CT Power ( Mauritius) Ltd being upstaged ...

Text by Le Mauricien
 

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