Tuesday, 20 March 2012 02:40
By caribarena news
Antigua St John's - Yesterday, on ZDK Radio’s Fire and Steel show, MP Molwyn Joseph exposed APUA reports into the current condition of the Chinese Power Plant and the visit of the APUA engineers in China.
The first report, written by the APUA electricity Division, outlines the disturbing issues currently being faced at the Chinese Power Plant. Amongst these is the problem that fixing of the fuel pumps on one of the engines was complete, but the other five engines would still need to have the fuel pumps fixed, a process that would take over a month.
In addition to this, the floor finish would only be completed in May, an expert was brought in to diagnose lube oil leaks on the generator shafts, the well pumps for the water supply system would have to be replaced, the HFO storage tanks are sinking, paint and chemicals were ordered to deal with the “corrosion situation of the entire plant”, BCEG is currently investigating the problems that have caused two engines to be rated at only 4 MW, and the engine rails are so fragile they require reinforcement. But the list doesn’t end there.
A failed LO cooler on one of the engines was in need of replacement, BCEG operators required 40 minutes to put an engine online, a process which should take only 15 minutes, and APUA voiced concerns regarding the “excessive wastage” of steam, to which BCEG responded, “Nothing can be done about this issue”. Also, APUA said that they are not “satisfied with the response to the request for WPP to regulate the cycle”.
This alarming list of sometimes-critical issues, however, is far less troubling than the official report composed by the APUA Engineers who visited China.
On the 25th of November, the APUA team arrived in China. On the 27th of November, the team travelled to Tiayuan city to observe the acceptance testing of the Siemens type TFC4 113-3 LB62 generator. When the team arrived, they were given a historical tour of the company, instead of being taken to the test bed as requested.
The report reads, “The team could not quite understand why our request was denied.” On November 28th, the team arrived at the “CSIEM Generator test site”, where they were met with “considerable confusion regarding which test is to be performed and which procedure is to be followed”, despite the fact that the company had sent copies of the test procedure the previous night.
The team also recorded in the report that after gathering the insulation resistance test data, it was for some reason impossible to proceed with testing, and the APUA team had to leave to get to the airport in order to arrive at Xi’an for the engine’s acceptance test.
The engineers recorded, “The acceptance test procedure for the generator was therefore incomplete.” On the 29th, SXD reported that they were unready for the team, and the day was delayed.
On the 1st of December, the acceptance test for one engine was run. However, the engine had two injector pumps get stuck in two separate tests. For the next two days, the team did not return, as the problems were unresolved.
On the 4th of December, The Electricity team arrived at the SCI test bed, where Mr. Richard Joseph witnessed the acceptance testing. However, what components were being tested, and what the results of the tests were is not recorded in the report.
Between the 4th and the 9th of December, the problems with the engine at the SXD factory were still unresolved, and as such the APUA team did not return to the factory.
However, on December 8th, one “Mr. Lange” explained to the team the relationship between MAN and SXD, the after sales procedure, an overview of the present problem, and assurance that SXD are “good engine manufactures and engines manufactured by SXD are problem free in the field.” On December 10th, acceptance testing was again attempted, and was successful this time.
On the 12th of December, the team returned to witness the final testing phase of the acceptance test, which was also successful. At the end of all this, the team concluded the following:
“Having witnessed the testing of both engine and generator, the team concluded that they would meet the technical requirements of the New 30 Mw Power Plant.” The team also explained that it was communication breakdowns and poor planning that caused the issues in China.
However, the team also noted that incorrect grade of diesel was used in the testing, which caused the engines problems during the acceptance phase. At the end of the document, the team recommended another visit be made to China to witness the test bed procedure for one of the other five engines.
So the APUA team went to China, where they witnessed communication breakdowns, incomplete tests, improper operation of the engine, and improper testing procedures, and at the end of this visit, the APUA team felt everything was in order, and that it was only necessary to see the testing procedure for one of the
other five engines.
In an interview with Caribarena, MP Molwyn Joseph raised some troubling questions regarding the actions of APUA Engineers in China, as well as the performance of the Chinese companies and the handling of the situation at the press conference in Antigua.
When the APUA team noted that the generator tests were, in fact, incomplete, why did they not insist that the tests be completed?
And if the tests were conducted in such a disorganized manner, how could the APUA team responsibly say that the engine would successfully be fitting for the project? Also, with so much confusion, disorder, and critical issues in the engine itself, how could the APUA team recommend responsibly that another visit be made to see the test bed procedure for only one of the other five engines?
Why shouldn’t all the engines be witnessed at the testing phase? After all, the decision is worth over $47 million dollars of taxpayer’s money for a small country facing tough economic times.
A critical part of every standard testing phase for new power plant engines involves the regular inspection of vital components of the engine during assembly. Within the report, it is clear that the engineers of APUA were not shown the engine while it was being assembled, and as such were limited to inspecting only the completed engine.
This means critical parts such as the crankshaft could not have been inspected by the APUA Team.
Fast-forward to the present day, and it is clear that the Chinese power plant is far from “problem free” as Mr. Lange assured the team, and that more attention should have been placed on any of the numerous issues witnessed by the team during testing.
It is clear from these documents that the Chinese companies are extremely disorganized, that the APUA inspectors were content to roll over when problems were experienced, and that today the Chinese power plant is in need of serious repair and replacement parts, after hardly several months of operation.
And what is even more worrying is the fact that none of the engineers, politicians, or Chinese representatives mentioned any of these critical problems during the press conference. Why did the APUA engineers at the conference, some of whom actually visited China, neglect to mention the extremely disorganized fashion and the numerous critical issues they saw in China?
MP Joseph also told Caribarena that he has more documents and called on the Government to release all the documentation related to the Chinese Power Plant. Joseph has also requested access to the power plant from the Government, in order for MAN Germany Engineers to inspect the plant.
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