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Who is to Rule the Indian Power Equipment Market: "India or China"?

In the recent times there has been a lot discussion


wandering in almost all sectors that have been effected due to the recent rupee
depreciation. A number of constructive measures are being planned by investigating
all possible causes for this effect. One such cause considered is the import of foreign
equipment. This looks weird for the nation to act only when there is an impulse due to
a measure imposed earlier, which in original needed a much prior anticipation of what
is the actual outcome. The Indian Power Equipment manufacturers are looking out for
a level play field in establishing competition with the Chinese equipment
manufacturers.
The recent significant increase in India's power generation capacity has come at a
price. Power equipment imported from China is known to be at very attractive prices
compared to the going domestic rates, it accounts for already about 24,500 MW, over
12% of the installed base, and for another around 42,000 MW under construction.
Some stations with Chinese units have indicated some major problems like high
Turbine vibrations and turbine blade failures/damage, failure of HT motors, failure of
BFP Cartridge & Mechanical seal leakages, milling problems etc. Some stations with
BHEL units have reported failure of Generator transformers, high turbine vibrations
etc.
Now to have a clear picture of the differences in the Indian and Chinese
equipments lets go into the technical details of each.
The Design Turbine Cycle Heat Rate (THR) for Chinese 300 MW units is
around 1910 kcal/kWh as compared to around 1945 kcal/kWh for BHEL
250 MW units. However, the Design Heat rate for Chinese units do not
correlate well with the steam flows indicated and large variations in design
steam flows are seen for similar indicated design THR.
The Design THR of Chinese 600 MW machines is 1954 kcal/kWh for two
stations and 1945 kcal/kWh for one station. However, the Design Heat rates
for Chinese machines do not correlate well with the steam flows indicated.
The Design THR of BHEL 500 MW machines is around 1944 kcal/kWh for
normal reheat temperature and 1932-1936 kcal/kWh for higher Reheat
temperature (565 deg C) machines. Thus the Turbine cycle heat rate of BHEL
machines is better than the Chinese 600 MW machines - by about 10
kcal/kWh for BHEL normal reheat temperature machines and 22 kcal/kWh for
higher reheat temperature machines.
However, the regenerative system configuration of Chinese machines is
different from BHEL machines and Chinese 300 MW units have higher steam
Pressure also. Thus on like to like comparison basis the BHEL machines
indicate higher cylinder efficiency implying that their design/construction in
terms of blading provided, sealing etc. renders higher efficiency
Amongst the Chinese 600 MW and BHEL 500 MW turbine generators, only
the BHEL machines with higher Reheat temperature of 565 deg C comply
with the minimum efficiency criteria (maximum THR of 1935 kcal/kWh)
prescribed in the CEA Technical Standards for Construction of Electric Plants
and Electric Lines Regulations - 2010.
The anomalies/discrepancies in the design Turbine Cycle Heat Rate, Steam
flows design margins of Chinese machines is indicative of lack of due
diligence by the suppliers and utilities/generating companies on the above
aspects - some of them being mandatory as laid down in the CEA Technical
Standards for Construction of Electric Plants and Electric Lines Regulations -
2010.
It is thus suggested that the generating companies while making Tariff
Application to CERC/SERC may be asked to furnish details key
design/efficiency parameters with an undertaking certifying compliance to
"CEA Technical Standards for Construction of Electric Plants and Electric
Lines Regulations 2010". It is suggested that a formal advice to the above
effect may be issued to Central Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The Design boiler efficiency for BHEL units and Chinese units designed for
indigenous coal is of the same order. However overall variability of design
boiler efficiency amongst stations is higher for Chinese units. Also, apart from
the design boiler efficiency, the operating efficiency with coal quality
variations within or outside the design coal quality range is important.
However such feedback would be available only after sustained operation of
stations with different quality coals.
Both, the Chinese 300 & 600 MW and BHEL 250 & 500 MW units have
adequate flow margins - VWO and BMCR margins. However the Chinese 330
MW machines have a composite TMCR to BMCR margin of 5.34 % which is
very low and does not appear to be compliant to the CEA Technical Standards
for Construction of Electric Plants and Electric Lines Regulations - 2010 and
the provision of instantaneously load picking of the Indian Electricity Grid
Code (IEGC).
Chinese units based on indigenous coal show a much lower Operating Load
Factor (OLF) than the Chinese units based on imported coal. The overall
average OLF for Chinese stations based on imported coal works out to 80.4 %
while for Chinese stations based on indigenous coal it works out to be 57.2 %
against 71.6 % for BHEL units. Thus the Operating Load Factor of BHEL
units with indigenous coal have been higher than Chinese units based on
indigenous coal.
Total outages for Chinese units based on indigenous/domestic coal are higher
than the Chinese units based on imported coal and BHEL units. The overall
average of total outages for Chinese units based on indigenous coal is 23.5%
while it is 14.1 % for Chinese units with imported coal and 18.7 % for BHEL
stations. Excluding stations with very high outages, the total outages are 17.4
%, 7.6 % and 12.6 % respectively for Chinese indigenous coal, Chinese
imported coal and BHEL units.
The Operating Heat Rate (OHR) of Chinese indigenous coal based units is
considerably higher than BHEL units and Chinese units based on indigenous
coal. The overall Operating Heat Rate is 2719 kcal/kWh for Chinese
indigenous coal based units and 2520 kcal/kWh for BHEL indigenous coal
based units''. Also the Chinese units indicate higher operating deviation from
design heat rate Vis-a-vis BHEL units.
The OHR for Chinese imported coal based units is 2275 kcal/kWh and the
difference vis a vis Chinese indigenous coal is considerably larger than could
be accounted for the higher boiler efficiency (due to better coal quality)
thereby implying that units with imported coal have been performing better
than indigenous coal based units.
Large number of BHEL stations have shown very low Operating Heat Rate
with deviation from Design Heat Rate (DHR) of 2-5 % while most Chinese
units with indigenous coal have shown much higher Operating Heat Rate -
with deviation from DHR of around 10-12 %. The operating deviation for
Chinese units based on indigenous coal is much lower than Chinese
indigenous coal based units.
The BHEL units show remarkably better performance with respect to
Secondary Fuel oil consumption as compared to Chinese units based on
indigenous coal.
The overall SFC for Chinese units with indigenous coal is 6.13 ml/kWh and
for BHEL indigenous coal based units'' 3.06 ml/kWh. The overall SFC for
Chinese units based on imported coal is 1.34 ml/kWh.The level of automation
in Chinese turbines is much less than the BHEL turbines. The Chinese
turbines do not have many safety and analysis/diagnostic functions such as
Turbine Stress Evaluator (TSE) and Auto Turbine Run-up Systems (ATRS) in
their control system. Thus, lot of manual interventions are envisaged during
start up as well as during normal operation of Chinese machine contrary to
philosophy of fully automated system with minimum manual intervention in
BHEL machines. Manual intervention during critical operations gives rise to
subjectivity with the possibility of mal-operation and accidents

Chinese Units Commissioned and Under Construction in India
Sector Commissioned XI
Plan
Commissioned XII
Plan
Under Construction
No. of
Units
Total
capacity
No. of
Units
Total
capacity
No. of
Units
Total
capacity
Central 0 0 0 0 2 1200
State 7 2700 1 600 2 1200
Private 46 15487 19 5675 79 39440
Total 53 18187 20 6275 83 41840


Major Suppliers of Chineses Boileres and TG
Supplier
Dongfang China
SEC China
Babcock Wilcox China
Beijing Beizhong STG China
Harbin China
BHEL

Comparison of the Rivals
Parameter Chinese units BHEL units
Design Turbine Cycle Heat Rate
(kcal/kWh)
1910 (300 MW) 1945 (250 MW)
1954 (600 MW) 1945/1936* (500 MW)
Design Boiler efficiency (%) 85-87 (Domestic
coal)
88-89 (Imported
coal)
85-89 (Domestic coal)
Flow Margins (%) TMCR-BMCR 300 MW-10-11%
600 MW-8-10%
330 MW-5.34%
8-10 for both 250 and 500
MW units
Average Operating Load Factor (%) 57.2 (Domestic
coal)
80.4 (Imported
coal)
71.6 Domestic coal
Total Outages (% of operating
hours)
23.50 (Domestic
coal)
14.10 (Imported
coal)
18.70 Domestic coal
Number of Outages per 1000
operating hours (nos)
03.21 (Domestic
coal)
03.93 (Imported
coal))
03.22 Domestic coal
Operating Heat Rate (OHR)
(kcal/kWh)
2719 (Domestic
coal)
2275 (Imported
coal)
2520 Domestic coal
Secondary Fuel Oil Consumption 06.13 (Domestic 03.06 Domestic coal
(ml/kWh) coal)
01.34 (Imported
coal)
Note: * 1932-1936 With high reheat temperature of 565 deg C

The above facts speak that the control systems of Chinese turbines seem to be not in
line with the prevailing modern turbine design/technology. In this view in July 2012,
the government had slapped 21 per cent import duty on power equipment. The
Cabinet, last year, had approved 5 per cent basic customs duty, 12 per cent counter-
veiling duty and 4 per cent special additional duty on import of power gear. As
domestic industry has enough capacity to provide after-sales services, the Chinese
firms have already captured as much as 40% of the domestic market where an
opportunity of annual sales of 17,000 Mw capacity exists at present. India has a
current domestic equipment manufacturing capacity of 27,000 Mw. Power equipment
worth Rs 130,000 crore was sold in India last financial year. Around 28% of this
comprised generation equipment while the rest 72% of the sales occurred in the
transmission and distribution sector.

At times it sounds necessary for India to look for import of Chinese Equipment in
order to meet its projected capacity additions which is also very vital for the country
be to be more energy secured. The Indian government's support to the domestic
manufacturers as not been so encouraging with many manufacturers expressing a
discomfort from the recent decisions taken by the govt. in respect to Chinese
Equipment manufacturers. All these entail the Indian Govt. to provide a more
competitive platform so as to balance both these markets.

Analysed outcome on Design and Performance of Chinese Equipment by CEA

Central Electricity Authority has done two studies on Design and Performance of
Chinese Equipments. The two studies made were, the first one included Design
Features of Boilers and Auxiliaries being sourced from Chinese Manufacturers in year
2008. The second one was to Analyze the performance of Chinese equipment vis-a-
vis Indian equipment in year 2013
Details of Study on Design Features of Boilers and Auxiliaries from Chinese
sources.
The Study Covered 5 stations with 300/330 MW and 2 stations with 600 MW .
units (All Sub-critical)
o 300/330 MW Units - Yamunanagar- HPGCL, Durgapur- DPL,
Sagardighi- WBPDCL, Lanco-Amarkantak, Mundra-Adani Power.
o 600 MW Units- Lanco Anapara C, Hissar HPGCL.
Only 3 Commissioned Stations - Yamunanagar, Durgapur & Sagardighi.
Main Findings in this study.
o The technical particulars relating to major design features of boiler and
their auxiliaries found to be in line with good engineering practices-
any generic design issues could be best known after these units operate
for an initial period of about one to two years.
o Initial 1-2 years of operation of any plant are critical and will bring out
inherent generic deficiencies, if any.
o Operational feed back then available indicated milling Constraints in
some units
o Secondary fuel oil consumption has been found to be high in all the
three operational projects.
o Layout constraints Found in some of the plants which may result in
difficulties in attending to the equipment during maintenance.
o Data Gaps- No information from Chinese manufacturers on design
features, operational performance, Standards followed during
manufacturing & testing procedures. Lack of Sufficient data with plant
owners.
o Some of the utilities did not have complete information about
important technical particulars -During interaction with the project
authorities of the three operating stations, it has emerged that there has
been substantial lack of participation by the utilities in the areas of
technical specifications, detailed engineering, quality inspection at
works, erection supervision, training of O&M personnel, etc.
o Important equipment drawings/ technical data/ documents were not
available with the projects. Design data was also not available with
some IPPs sourcing the equipment from Chinese manufacturers.
Recommendations - Need for due diligence
o Due diligence required by the utilities during stage of specification
finalization and detailed engineering, inspections/testing etc. to
minimize O&M problems
o Detailed comprehensive quality plans for ensuring quality at works and
at site identifying customer hold points and test procedures and
Standards needs to be defined and implemented for each major
equipment/system. Some of the utilities were found lacking in this
regard

Details of study to Analyse the performance of Chinese equipment vis-a-vis India
Equipment.
A study to Analyse the performance of Chinese equipment vis-a-vis Indian
equipment was taken up by CEA in 2011 - through a Committee of CEA and
NTPC.
o The Objective of the study was to analyse the performance of Chinese
equipment vis-avis Indian equipment (BHEL) including coal
consumption patterns, heat rate and efficiency achieved.
o Areas Covered
Operating Load Factor (OLF), Outages/Downtime
Design Parameters- Turbine cycle Heat rate & Boiler
Efficiency Flow Margins
Operating Efficiency - Heat Rate and Specific Fuel Oil
Consumption
Problems in Erection & Commissioning
Units Considered in Study 2
o The Study covered Chinese Subcritical units of 300 and 600 MW and
BHEL Sub-critical units of 250 and 500 MW units commissioned in
11th Plan (2007-08 to 2010-11)
o Chinese capacity covered - 8200 MW
22 Units across 11 stations
o BHEL capacity Covered -12480 MW
36 Units across 22 Stations
Chinese Make Units. Indigenous (BHEL) Units
Unit Size Units Stations Unit Size Units Stations
300 MW 13 7 250 MW 22 12
330 MW 4 1 500 MW 14 10
600 MW 5 3
Study-2: Details of Manufacturers
o Manufacturers Wise Break up of Capacity
Supplier Boiler Supplied TG Supplied
Nos. Capacity Nos. Capacity
Dongfang China 6 2100 8 3300
SEC China 10 3600 10 3600
Babcock Wilcox China 4 1320 0 0
Beijing Beizhong STG China 0 0 4 !320
Harbin China 2 1200 0 0
BHEL India 36 12480 36 12480
Thus Most Chinese Supplies from Dongfang and Shanghai (SEC).
Main Finding - Steam Parameters & Heat Rate


o Steam parameters and Design Turbine cycle heat rate
S.
No
Stations
/Unit Size
MS
Pressure
Temperature
MST/RHT
Turbine
cycle heat
rate
Remarks
1 Chinese
300 MW
units
1701 537/537 1910 The Design Heat rate for
Chinese units do not
correlate well with the
steam flows indicated and
large variations in design
steam flows are seen for
similar
2 Chinese
600 MW
units
170 537/537 1954
3 BHEL
250 MW
Units
150 537/537 1945
4 BHEL
500 MW
Units
170 537/537
537/565
1945
1936
The regenerative system configuration of Chinese machines is different from BHEL
machines and Chinese 300 MW units have higher steam Pressure also. Thus on like to
like comparison basis the BHEL machines indicate higher cylinder efficiency
implying that their design/construction in terms of blading provided, sealing etc.
renders higher efficiency
Expected THR of BHEL machine with similar configuration - 1890 (250 MW) and
1932/1920 (500 MW)
Main Findings - Flow Margins
Both, the Chinese 300 & 600 MW and BHEL 250 & 500 MW units have adequate
flow margins - VWO and BMCR margins. However the Chinese 330 MW machines
have a composite TMCR to BMCR margin of 5.34 % which is very low and not
compliant to the CEA Technical Standards and may not meet IEGC provisions.
Main Findings -Outages and Load Factors
Operating Load factors and Outages
S.
No
Stations Operating
Load Factor
(%)
Total
Outages
(%)
Remarks
1 Chinese units
-Domestic
Coal
512 23.5 Chinese units based on domestic
coal have higher outages and lower
load factors than imported coal
based units as well as BHEL units
2 Chinese units
-Imported
Coal
80.4 14.1
3 BHEL Units
Domestic
Coal
71.6 18.7
CEA Monitoring Data
PLF - 2011-12 (units in Study) - Chinese (D) -66.19, (I) 75.46, BHEL- 76.68
PLF - 2012-13 (units in Study) - Chinese (D) -52.27, (I) 81.57, BHEL- 78.13
Main Findings - Operating Heat Rate
S.
No
Stations Operations Heat Rate Remarks
kcal/kWh Dev. from
Design
(%)
1 Chinese units
Domestic
Coal
2719 23.29 Chinese units based on domestic coal.
Have higher Operating Heat Rate than
Chinese imported coal based units as
well as BHEL units.
2 Chinese units
Imported
Coal
2275 4.71
3 BHEL Units
Domestic
Coal
2520 12.77
Chinese imported coal based units show much lower heat rate than indigenous coal
based units - the difference is far higher than envisaged due to the boiler efficiency
difference.
Variations in Operating Heat Rate of BHEL units are seen. Six stations show
operating deviation (below 5%, four stations show deviation of around 10-11 %. Rest
of the stations show very high deviations of 15-25 % and even higher.
Chinese indigenous coal based units generally show high operating deviations.
Main Finding - Specific Secondary Fuel Oil Consumption (SFC)
S.
No
Stations SFC Remarks
1 Chinese units
Domestic Coal
6.13 BHEL Units show remarkably better SFC than
Chinese indigenous coal based units
2 Chinese units
Imported Coal
1.34
3 BHEL Units
Domestic Coal
3.06
SFC for Chinese imported coal based stations is considerably lower than indigenous
coal based stations. Indigenous - 2.5 to 5 ml/kWh. Best Yearly values Indigenous-
0.90, Imported- 0.53.
Large number of BHEL supplied stations show very low SFC of below one ml/kWh.
The lowest overall (2007-11) SFC is 0.27 ml/kWh followed by 0.47, 0.52, 0.54 and
0.81 ml/kWh.
The yearly SFC for individual BHEL stations are even lower. The best yearly SFC is
0.16 ml/kWh followed by several instances of yearly SFCs in the range of 0.20 to
0.50 ml/kWh.
Station Visits
o Visits to Stations
BHEL stations - Generally satisfied
Chinese Stations - Mixed Bag. Widely different feedback from two stations
visited.


Main Finding - Turbine Control Systems
The level of automation in Chinese turbines is much less than the BHEL turbines The
Chinese turbines do not have many analysis/diagnostic functions and equipment
safety features such as Turbine Stress Evaluator (TSE) and Auto Turbine Run-up
Systems (ATRS) in their control system. Thus, lot of manual interventions are
envisaged during start up as well as during normal operation of Chinese machine
contrary to philosophy of fully automated system with minimum manual intervention
in BHEL machines.
Thus the control systems of Chinese turbines are not in line with the prevailing
modern turbine design/technology. Manual intervention during critical operations
gives rise to subjectivity with the possibility of mal-operation and accidents.