Successful generator swap implemented seamlessly in only two days. This story is a model of incredible teamwork, out-of–the-box thinking and exemplary professionalism, laying in the foundation of our World-Class Execution.
When it comes to our customers’ equipment, we know all the tools and techniques to extend its lifetime. However, sometimes nothing can be better than replacing it entirely with a brand new one rather than trying to dust off a 30-year-old piece of equipment. Calaca power station, in the Philippines, had that exact challenge with a 330MW and 30-year-old generator in need of a reliability and availability boost. But what may sound like a simple solution – a generator swap – turned into a logistic challenge.
Guy STOECKEL, a 47-year GE veteran, was called to oversee the on-site execution and bring his dose of expertise for this complex maneuver. As he put it himself, “During my career, it was only the second time I witnessed such event.” The generator swap could not happen inside the turbine hall – the steam turbine modules were too high for the generator to be maneuvered around. So the customer had to cut off part of the building roof to ensure the extraction of the old generator and integration of the new one through the air.
A 70-meter high crane was installed on site during the course of a week and then the clock started ticking: we had only two days to remove the old generator and insert the new one. Once the old equipment had been extracted and the site prepared, the new generator lifted up in the air and was carefully inserted in its new home.
“It looked so easy and so fragile at the same time – the crane lifted the 160-ton generator and drop it in its new home like it was a simple grocery bag.”
Right when the team was ready to synchronize the unit back online, the Covid crisis hit the country and a strict lockdown was instituted by the government. The team had to find alternative ways through remote connection and even greater collaboration to ensure the much-needed electricity was again flowing through the grid.
This challenging execution would not have been possible without the one team approach of everyone involved: our local team in the Philippines, our Fieldcore operatives and our experts from Belfort.