Zoran Božović, the director of the EPS Department for energy production: Change in plan, shorter overhauls: report on modernization and investments in power gen facilities

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If it happens that during the rebalancing of the annual business program of EPS for 2013, the funds for maintenance increase, they should be redirected to the regular maintenance of the facilities.- The new time schedule for overhaul and change in possible production of TPP have been done because of the public procurement deadlines and change in duration of planned downtimes.

Planned downtimes of the production Units of “Elektroprivreda Srbije” for this year are going to be shorter than envisaged according to the energy balance for 2013 if compared to previous years. Bad financial situation had the greatest impact on it, i.e. the lack in funds in cash flows of EPS as well as delay in increase of electricity price, so the investment activities for revitalization and modernization of Thermal Power Units have also been delayed.

Zoran Božović, the director of EPS Department for energy production in an interview for kWH, says that the harmonization of the Program for facilities maintenance of EPS for this year has been performed in accordance with the business projections for 2013 and complicated financial conditiones. The investments plan has gone trough significant changes in the scope and dynamics for the years to come, that impacted the overhaul scope and decrease in value of the funds for maintenance of the production capacities for this year.

The director of the EPS Deparment points out that business activities that has the character of investments are financed and monitored trough the Investments plan of PE EPS for the year 2013. By the running of the planned activities, the improved performace will be achieved, the lifetime of the production capacities is also going to be prolonged, the power of PPs will increase as well as the production of electricity. These are the projects of the revitalization of the power unit A4 in the HPP „Djerdap 1“ that has started in 2011 and the revitalization of the power unit A4 in the HPP „Bajina Bašta“ that started in 2012.

Due to lack of funds, investment projects were reduced from that envisaged by the energy balance for 2013. Rehabilitation and modernization of the TENT Power Unit B2 was postponed, and planned overhaul of the 30-day capital overhauls of TPP “Kolubara A5” and the TPP “TE-KO A1” shall take place in 2014, while the overhaul of the power unit in TPP “Morava” was delayed for the year 2015. In the power unit  A1 in “Novi Sad” overhaul began on 16 April and it is planned to last 45 days. During the overhaul, replacement of rotary air heater filling and reconstruction of boiler K2 sealing will be carried out.

– New time schedule for the overhaul and potential production changes are made due to the public procurement deadlines and changes in duration of planned downtimes – explained Božović.

Our source says that after consideration of available resources for technical programs (investments, fixed assets and maintenance), and taking into account the commitments acquired for investment, the EPS Department for production performed reallocation of funds. This amount reached RSD 11,254 billion for the maintenance of power plants and mines. According to Mr. Božović, this year intensive work will be dedicated to the diagnostics and monitoring of the plant through regular checkups and various methods of troubleshooting, service, and through the implementation of preventive activities on smaller plants.

One of the objectives of maintenance will be timely analysis of the perceived disorders and taking the necessary corrective measures at an appropriate time. It was also planned that in case of sudden plant failures or malfunctions, repairs of damages and restoring the facility to the previous state should be organized as soon as possible. Cut in the funds must not significantly affect the activities that are essential to operational readiness, while  increased time availability of certain power units shall enable the production in accordance with the balance based on the available quantities of coal from MB “Kolubara”.

– If the funding for maintenance could possibly increase during the rebalancing of the annual program of business operation of  EPS for the 2013,  it should be reallocated to the regular maintenance of facilities – said Božović.

Delay in public procurement is still a major problem in the realization of maintenance program – overhaul. So, the start of repair of the “TPP Kolubara” power unit A3 was postponed from 10 April to 15 May due to the delay of public procurement procedures necessary for the realization of the most important jobs. This delay causes also the delay of the overhauling start in TPP “Morava” for the 110 kV network.

Overhauls in the production capacities of EPS TPPs started in early April, one month later than envisaged by the energy balance for 2013.

– Standard Overhaul of the Power Unit A6 in TENT A, started on 11 April and it is planned to last 30 days. The main activities include: metallization of evaporator tubes in the boiler chute to protect against abrasion, repair of the injection fittings, repair of the mills with the replacement and restoration of worn elements, replacing of the fresh air fan impeller, sanitation of coal bunkers, replacing VOITH couplings on a feeder pump station 63, control of the cables according to the operation procedure 400 kV, control of sliding bearings and seals of the generator rotor – explained Mr. Božović.- On the low-pressure turbine rotor, at the request of the manufacturer, “Alstom”, dismantling and control of the rotor both sides last row blades will be performed. The standard 30-days lasting overhaul of the TENT B2 began four days earlier than that on the A6 power unit. At TENT Power Unit B2, main activities include repair and rehabilitation of installations for pneumatic transport of ash, boiler piping system overhaul, repair of the mills and electrostatic precipitators. Audits of the turbine power unit and generator inspection will be performed and the installation of a new generator circuit breaker ABB will take place. All preparatory works for the overhaul of the TPP “Kolubara A1” are completed; the power unit is in repair from 6 February, the public procurement of the services for recast of steam turbine beds.

As Mr. Božović says, the tasks referred to in the Investment Plan in the context of the overhaul season include also the revitalization of HPP “Djerdap 1” and HPP “Bjelovar”. However, the rehabilitation of the Power Unit A4 “Djerdap 1” began on 01 July 2011 and was scheduled to last for 12 months? This happens because of the late deliveries of the turbine equipment from Russia (hub and blades of the impeller with working mechanisms), that the revitalization was extended for about five months. The equipment was delivered in mid-December and the work continued. According to information from the Danube HPP, the works are accelerated by introducing two shifts in order to make up for lost time.

– The activities of assembling the equipment are running according to the revised plan and revitalization completion is expected in mid-May – says Mr. Božović. – Revitalization of the Power Unit A4 in HPP “Bjelovar,” started on 11 October last year and is scheduled to last 12 months. The works are being performed according to the plan, all equipment other than the new step-up transformers is in the power plant, and the final examination should be performed from 19 July until 13 August. Probation of the Power Unit A4 is scheduled to take place from 14 August until 12 September. By putting of this Power Unit into operation, revitalization of Power Units in HPP “Bjelovar” will be completed.

As for the mining sector, in the Mining Basin “Kolubara”, this year’s overhaul of the overburden systems began on 22 December of last year by the early overhaul of IV ECS system in the Field “D”. Overhauls on the spreader O-IV and the belt conveyor were finished on 15 January, but the overall job was completed at the end of January by completion of the excavator overhaul.

Due to the failure of the bucket wheel gear and scope of activities related to the remediation of the problem, the overhaul started earlier for the excavator G-10, the spreader O-4 and belt conveyors, which are part of the IVH ECS system of “Field” D “. The overhaul began on 28 March. As for the coal systems, repair works started on 15 April in the ECS system of the Field “D”. In the open pit mine Drmno of the TE – KO “Kostolac” overhauls have not yet begun.

Urgent is always more expensive

As pointed out by Mr. Božović, funding of overhaul repairs should begin in the second half of the previous year for implementation in the upcoming year. In fact, some repair works require a longer period of time to prepare services and supply of materials and equipment before entering the planned downtime. It is clear that timely preparation is very important for a good overhaul because it has the positive impact on the length and quality of an overhaul, as well as on the price. In practice, it is proved that emergency orders for prompt delivery are always more expensive. To ensure effective and economical implementation of certain purchases for 2014, a team at the level of the EPS group is formed that should go through revised business plan for 2013 to establish procurement plan with long lead times that should involve production companies.