Overview

Hydropower generates 80% of Brazil’s power. In a drought, thermal power plants must compensate. GE and Eneva made a plan—and achieved their common goals.

The challenge

Eneva’s two 7F turbines at Parnaiba were 4,000 hours over their 32,000 hour operational limit. During a drought, thermal plants must produce more than their share in hydropower-dependent Brazil, but the turbines were at risk of critical issues. The choices: shut down until next month’s planned outage or advance the outage at an accelerated rate.

The solution

GE agreed to support partner Eneva and Brazil’s national grid with the right people, in the right place, at the right time. The pre-mobilization plan was tight. Visas for experts from Mexico and Peru. Tooling and parts at site before the planned power outage began. Communication and prior teamwork for process excellence.

Outcomes

Pre-mobilization planning: agile communication supported Brazil's planned outage

95% OTD

outage planning for timeliness, accuracy and issue avoidance

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Compliance with deadlines and technical quality are essential factors in planned outages. Because GE mobilized with such speed and agility, we managed to recover before the outage deadline. Whether it is the planning of parts or timelines, Eneva and GE learn lessons every time we work together.

Vilmar Carneiro

Operations Director at Eneva

4.5/5 CX rating in 2020

delivering customer needs on time with high quality

Eneva requested support to advance the upcoming outage by more than a month. The GE team knew Eneva’s overworked turbines could fail trying to fill the energy gap caused by the drought. If they didn’t advance the outage, it could force an uncontrolled emergency outage. GE agreed, proposing an outage performed in two phases, so Brazil’s power supply remained uninterrupted.

The two entities had a long collaborative relationship, and synergy between them improved with each outage performed. But this acceleration was by no means a guaranteed success—in fact, the 16-day goal seemed nearly impossible at the start.

First, GE assembled the right team of experts from nearby Peru and Mexico, 90% of whom were experienced in the process. But would the visas come through in time? Eneva’s strong standing with the government helped reduce visa processing time from more than three weeks to just five days.

All tooling, parts and OTD had to be at the site prior to the accelerated outage for the plan to work without disrupting power generation. With the plant’s experience co-managing GE equipment outages since 2018, they were able to streamline the flow of materials to meet the short deadline. 

Typically, a Hot Gas Path (HGP) outage like this one is performed over 15-16 days. In the end, GE and Eneva achieved a remarkable 14-day HGP for the first outage project and 12-day for the second. These energy partners shared a common goal and achieved on-time delivery with zero accidents and high technical quality.