The Personalised Electricity Revolution
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Josh Hyland
Dorad Energy Ltd’s operation of the Dorad Independent Power Producer (IPP) Project has included sustained periods of plant enhancements and modernisation to ensure the most flexible product possible, and Dorad expects to continue with this mission 25 years on, with an expansion already on the horizon.
Initiated in 2002, the IPP Project consists of the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a combined cycle, 860MW power plant located south of Ashkelon in Israel; a plant unique in its configuration so as to provide maximum operating flexibility and - more importantly - even higher availability.
The power plant received its operating license and commenced operations in May, 2014. The project uses gas-fired combined cycle power technology to generate electricity.
“This technology offers high efficiency production levels, fast construction, low operation and maintenance cost and low emissions levels,” adds Dorad Energy Ltd’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Eli Asulin. “GE was selected to supply the gas turbines for the power plant and the current shareholders in the Company include EAPC (37.5 percent), Zorlu Energy (25 percent), Dori Energy (18.75 percent), and Edeltech (18.75 percent).” He continues: “The plant is configured in two identical blocks; each block with six GE LM6000PC sprint turbines together with their associated OTSG (once through steam generators) – one for each gas turbine – plus one steam turbine in combined cycle.
“This configuration has been selected to provide maximum operating flexibility and high efficiency over a broad range of operations.”
“The OTSGs also include a limited amount of supplementary duct firing in order to allow increased power production during peak demand periods. Cooling is provided by a cooling tower with seawater makeup, and the condensers are titanium-tubed,” Asulin explains. “The two key strategies for the plant overall are firstly to take advantage of its flexibility to allow a flexible response to changing markets, including increasing penetration of renewable energy sources; and secondly, the realisation of the significance of maximising overall plant availability Dorad achieving more than 97 percent availability in the first two years of operation - with decisions and investments made accordingly.”
Such decisions and investments span areas of procurement, equipment, risk management, error reduction and the modification of key systems in order to enhance built-in redundancy; all of which are driven by the highest quality management personnel and workforce who recognise the importance of their contribution to the overall mission of the Company.
This expertise lends itself to a largely turnkey approach to operations, with Dorad able to approach most facets with a single-point responsibility.
In turn, clients end up with an offering that is competitively priced, with high availability and with a ‘low risk-demand projection’ ratio.
“This means there is no ‘take or pay’ or requirement by the customer to predict their demand, so there is also no difference between the way they buy power today and the way they did previously,” Asulin elaborates. “Dorad has negotiated agreements to sell the power plant capacity to a broad range of electricity consumers at a discount to the rates for purchase of electricity from the national grid.
“One of the first and most important clients that Dorad has signed to supply its entire electricity consumption is the Ministry of Defence. Dorad also signed power purchase agreements with the Israeli Water Company (Mekorot), which is the largest electricity consumer in Israel, as well as other private industrial companies, hotel chains, banks, food processing plants, etc.”
Dorad has also signed a gas supply agreement with TAMAR for the supply of gas for the power plant for a minimum period of 15 years; a deal made all the more significant considering the plant will consume around 0.7 billion cubic metres annually, or a total amount of 10.5 billion cubic metres over the course of the contract.
Much like its supply chain and core customer base, the overall structure of the business maintains a very streamlined and lean foundation, driven by a small number of experienced and capable professionals in key management positions, who in turn manage a series of expert outside consultants and contractors to perform all critical tasks in accordance with the requirements at each stage of the project.
Enhancing the tools at these professionals’ disposal is a similarly pivotal feature of Dorad’s continuous improvement ethos, and has recently been epitomised by a user-friendly web portal to provide customers with access to their consumption data, as well as tools to help them manage their electricity usage more effectively.
Investments have also been made in areas of cyber security, enhanced administrative and billing processes, more sophisticated plant operation software, and supervisory optimisation software to help encourage savings in gas consumption within the plant.
The most significant expenditure which is anticipated, however, involves an expansion of the plant which is set to maximise the use of existing equipment and infrastructures, including cooling water, feedwater, gas supply and electricity grid connectivity. Dorad has already submitted initial requests to the relevant authorities, but this expansion is still in a very early stage of planning.
“The proposed plant expansion is based on a single-shaft combined cycle plant, which may be executed in two stages; the installation of an H-Class industrial gas turbine in simple-cycle initially, with the addition of a waste heat recovery boiler plus steam turbine in the second stage,” Asulin notes. “The new unit will be installed in a strip of land along the west boundary of the plant.
The turnkey nature of Dorad’s operations, compounded by this will to keep progressing and growing the plant’s influence, forms a potent combination for a Company better prepared than most to tackle the challenges of the gas and electricity market, in order to embrace a more sophisticated and privatised energy market in the future.
“I see Dorad as a long-term player in the market, adapting and increasing in scope and capability as the market grows and develops,” Asulin concludes. “In particular, Dorad is interested in moving into the sale of power directly to individual private customers, as part of the personalised electricity revolution.”