China deploys 1st self-developed offshore gas turbine generator for drilling platforms
Published: Oct 29, 2023 11:05 PM
CNOOC's oil and gas extraction facility  Photo: Courtesy of  CNOOC

CNOOC's oil and gas extraction facility Photo: Courtesy of CNOOC

China's first self-developed offshore gas turbine power generator Taihang-7 entered operation in the sea area 180 kilometers southeast of Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, demonstrating another breakthrough in the country's offshore equipment development, China Media Group (CMG) reported on Sunday. 

An offshore gas turbine generator is the major power source of sea drilling platforms. The Taihang-7 gas turbine has a maximum capacity of 7 megawatts with the advantages of a quick start, as well as low cost in power generation and maintenance.

The electricity generated by Taihang-7 in one hour surpasses 5,000 kilowatt-hours, equivalent to the daily power demand of 500 households, as well as the daily use of an offshore oil and gas extraction platform. The gas turbine can eliminate nearly 80,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, compared with fuel turbines of the same power capacity.

Previously, China's gas turbine power generators were highly dependent on imports, and sea platforms had to deal with various difficulties from long transport periods to high purchase and maintenance costs, said the report.

According to CMG, research into the Taihang-7 was launched in 2021. The research team implemented innovative design concepts and structural plans targeting extreme weather conditions, making the generator capable of enduring extreme conditions including typhoons, earthquakes, high humidity and corrosive pressures, filling the gap of China's offshore equipment research and development sector.

The Taihang-7 has fully realized independent manufacturing of core components and reduced the general manufacturing cost by about 15 percent from imported products. Aside from natural gas, the associated gas generated along with crude oil extraction and regular fuel can also be used by the generator in power generation to ensure the normal operation in any conditions.

China has formed a complete research and manufacturing chain for gas turbine generators. Three types of light gas turbine generators including the Taihang-7 and a heavy generator have been developed, which can be used in multiple scenarios in energy supply, said the report.