• July 2011 Blast at Nearby Naval Base Knocked Country’s Largest Power Plant Offline;
• GE Response Helped Cyprus Regain Power Autonomy, Limit Economic Impact;
• GE Resources Key to Quick Rehabilitation of Country’s Power Supply.
As a result, two of the site’s four turbines resumed service in June, less than a year after the accident. GE expects to have the remaining units back in operation before the end of the year.
The power station, owned by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), represents more than 50 percent of the power capacity installed on Cyprus. The rapid rehabilitation effort was critical for island residents, helping the country regain its power autonomy and limit the significant costs associated with the use of temporary generator sets. The power shortage caused major economic losses for both small and large businesses and also had a significant impact on the hotel industry and tourism-related businesses, which are critical to the Cypriot economy.
The July 11, 2011, explosion occurred at Evangelos Florakis Naval Base, and the explosion wave from the blast hit the power plant, knocking out local power supplies and causing a country-wide energy shortage. The explosion also damaged properties in nearby villages. Estimated total damage to the Cyprus economy was more than €3 billion.
“GE mobilized its resources immediately following the naval base explosion with a remarkable commitment to getting our site operational as quickly as possible,” said General Manager Dr. Stelios Stylianou of EAC. “Without the dedication and skills of the GE team, this energy crisis would have been longer, and the direct economic impact on Cyprus would have been even greater.”
In total, more than 200 GE repair engineers and other technicians contributed to the rehabilitation effort over the past year and helped repair or replace more than 10 major turbine components.
“GE has a long-standing relationship with EAC, and we are proud to be supporting their efforts to help the residents of Cyprus recover from this disaster,” said Franck Oger, regional general manager of GE’s Thermal and Power Generation Services units. “The unusual circumstances surrounding this project presented unique challenges beginning on the first day. However, it also has been an invaluable experience that we can share with our GE colleagues to prepare them for similar circumstances they might encounter in the future.”
The Vasilikos Power Station is EAC’s newest and largest power plant. The four GE gas turbines produce 440 megawatts in combined-cycle operation, or about 52 percent of the plant’s total installed capacity of 850 megawatts. The gas turbines being repaired were supplied by GE in 2008 and installed in 2011, with all of the units under GE contractual service agreements.
In addition to the units for the Vasilikos plant, GE has supplied EAC with five Frame 6B gas turbines at other sites in the country. GE technology provides 40 percent of Cyprus’ total installed power capacity.
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