New Investment Project: 2×500 MWe Afşin Elbistan Thermal Power Plant – OpEd


The Holding, the private operator of the Afşin Elbistan A Thermal Power Plant, continues to work on a new investment project for a 2×500 MWe facility. Within this project, significant developments are underway regarding the potential acquisition of second-hand steam turbines from decommissioned nuclear power plants in the United States as an economic option.

A group of technical consultants, comprising retired experts with extensive experience in public institutions, now serving as technical advisors to the Holding, has received information suggesting that these second-hand steam turbines may be procured at very competitive prices. Consequently, preliminary discussions and negotiations have been initiated through intermediaries.

The second-hand steam turbines under consideration are two units of 500 MW each, as manufactured by GE and designed for single high-pressure inlet. However, the compatibility of these decommissioned nuclear power plant steam turbines with the requirements of the new investment project at the Afşin Elbistan Thermal Power Plant is a significant concern. Therefore, senior executives and technical personnel have decided to conduct a preliminary study to evaluate whether these turbines align with the pressure, temperature, and capacity specifications of the steam boilers.

As part of this preliminary study, the compatibility of the second-hand steam turbines, to be procured through intermediaries, with the design of the steam boilers will be thoroughly examined. The goal is to identify the most suitable and efficient steam turbines for the Afşin Elbistan Thermal Power Plant. However, several factors must be considered during the selection process. For example, the turbines’ single-pressure operation and the need to incorporate large ESP and FGD designs suitable for low-calorific indigenous coal in the new design are significant considerations.

Furthermore, lessons must be drawn from examples where local investors purchased cheap second-hand steam turbines and scrap boilers, which later proved to be less cost-effective or even problematic.

The new investment project by the Holding is regarded as a significant step in Turkey’s energy sector and is expected to make a substantial contribution to meeting the country’s energy needs. With this project, efforts to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly energy production and to contribute to the national economy are expected to intensify. Therefore, meticulous preliminary studies are crucial to ensuring that informed decisions are made.

Furthermore, engineers from the Holding company have engaged with software developers via intermediaries to seek a design for a steam boiler compatible with low-calorific Afşin coal (approximately 1000 BTU per lb). We have recommended them to obtain suitable software or partner with a software provider. It’s imperative to ensure the utilization of a reputable and reliable thermal power plant design software before finalizing such a significant investment.

Haluk Direskeneli

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, Entergy), 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 Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

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