GE Power Services has announced the signing of a multi-year agreement with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for the provision of services at its 650 MW Afam VI combined cycle power plant, located in south-eastern Nigeria. Under this agreement, the plant (which at full load accounts for about 15% of Nigeria’s generating capacity and can provide enough electricity to power over 3 million Nigerian homes) expects Azito power plant to improve its availability, reliability and output, while decreasing operational costs.

The agreement will cover planned maintenance of the three existing GT13E2 gasturbinesaswellasthesteamturbine.In addition, the order includes the carrying out of MXL2 gas turbine upgrades, which will increase plant installed capacity by up to 30 MW and also increase efficiency.

The upgrades will also extend inspection intervals for the gas turbines, reducing maintenance and repair costs.

SPDC is the plant operator for a joint venture agreement involving the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which holds 55%, Shell 30%, Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) 10% and Nigerian Agip Oil Company limited (NAOC) 5%.

GE had previously reported that it was also carrying out similar GT13E2 MXL2 gas turbine upgrades at the Azito combined cycle plant in Ivory Coast.

“With the Azito power plant producing more than a third of the electricity in the Ivory Coast, these improvements will have a wide-reaching impact on the country’s energy landscape”, said Elisee Sezan, general manager, GE’s Power Services business for sub-Saharan Africa. “Until two decades ago, the country was heavily reliant upon hydroelectric power and fell into an energy crisis when the electricity output from its dams was drastically reduced due to droughts. With this project, we look forward to supporting Azito Energie in its efforts to help the Ivory Coast achieve its strategic energy objectives of increasing existing plant efficiencies and doubling installed capacity by 2020 relative to that in early 2013.”

In addition, GE plans to set up a monitoring and diagnostics centre in Ivory Coast which will provide the digital data and analytics service to improve the performance of GE equipment in the region.