• General Electric’s HA turbines experiencing blade oxidation issues

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

General Electric has announced that four of its new turbines have experienced oxidation issues during operation, and that it expects more of the 51 turbines it has shipped to date will experience similar problems. A natural-gas fired plant run by Exelon Corp in Texas, USA, was the first to report the problem, which affects the turbine blades, in early September. The four turbines affected so far have had to be shut down, making the entire units inoperable – bad news both for the owners of the power stations using the new turbines and for GE, as affected companies may claim damages from the turbine manufacturer, and other companies considering purchasing the HA turbines may think twice. At this stage the issue does not appear a deeply difficult one to resolve, with GE expecting to have Exelon’s turbine operating again “soon”, though the company’s share price has dropped 3% since the news surfaced, and analysts say that after declining sales and profits recently, GE has little space for “wriggle room”. GE Power chief executive Russell Stokes has said the “minor adjustments that we need to make do not make the HA any less of a record setting turbine – they are meeting – and in many cases exceeding – their performance goals at every customer site today.”