HP MANUFACTURE INSPECTIONS – CHINA

Published: September 30, 2014
Jirau Manufacture inspection team – 1st row, from l. to r. Li Jin (Electrical eng.), Zhou Yonglin (NDT Inspector), Gu Shigong (Office Asstsiant) – 2nd row : Ruan Zhaoming (Mechanical Eng.), Pascal Seret (Team Leader), Zhang Yonggang (Deputy Team Leader), Zhao Zhihui (Planning & Quality Manager)

 

While it may pay to have hydroelectric equipment manufactured in China, it pays developers and EPCs to also ensure quality inspection and follow-up. Leading a unique, HP-focussed inspection team in China; Pascal Seret discusses how this service, created for Jirau HPP (Brazil), has value for all hydroelectric players.

ANSWERING A REAL NEED IN HYDROPOWER

In 2008 GDF SUEZ Latin America project developers approached Tractebel Engineering (France) Hydropower (HP) experts for assistance with manufacturing inspections needed on a major order of turbine and generator units for Jirau HPP (Brazil) provided by Chinese supplier Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC). Read more

STARTING RIGHT AND FOLLOWING THROUGH

Local presence and close interaction with DEC not only helped in developing a more trusting relationship, but also helped in defining a broader scope of services and interventions needed on the Jirau project; to the long-term benefit of all parties. Read more

SAVING COST AND TIME WHILE ASSURING QUALITY

As more developing countries look to HP as a sustainable energy source, the lower manufacturing costs (up to 20% or more) of components offered by Chinese suppliers are increasingly attractive. With an experienced and fully functioning team in place Tractebel Engineering is able to offer inspection services from the start – reacting to the unique circumstances of individual projects. Read more


  • Jirau HPP-turbine room ©Eduardo Francischelli Jirau HPP-turbine room ©Eduardo Francischelli
  • Jirau HPP-turbine room ©Eduardo Francischelli Jirau HPP-turbine room ©Eduardo Francischelli
  • Jirau HPP-Turbine room-detail ©Eduardo Francischelli Jirau HPP-Turbine room-detail ©Eduardo Francischelli

 

ANSWERING A REAL NEED IN HYDROPOWER

In 2008 GDF SUEZ Latin America project developers approached Tractebel Engineering (France) HP experts for assistance with manufacturing inspections needed on a major order of turbine and generator units for Jirau HPP (Brazil) provided by Chinese supplier Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC).

CAPACITY AND QUALITY – DETERMINING FACTORS
Jirau HPP on the Madeira River, developed by GDF SUEZ led consortium Energia Sustentável do BrasilESBR, will be the largest Bulb Unit HPP in the world with 50 x 75 MW Bulb Units (low head turbine generators).  But with the parallel development of Santo Antonio HPP downstream, capacity in Brazil to manufacture all the units required was already stretched. In 2009, ESBR took the decision to order 18 units, and later 4 more, from DEC in Sichuan, China. But 5 years ago, the quality and level of standardisation of the components that would be delivered was a concern…

EXPERIENCE ADDS TO QUALITY INSIGHT
By 2008 when discussions began, Tractebel Engineering (France)/ Coyne et Bellier (the group’s main centre of competence in HP), was already ahead of most in its business interactions with Chinese players in the hydro field. As is still the case today, it could offer; experts with several years’ experience in China, an established Chinese partner (OTEC) and useful knowledge of working with Chinese suppliers. ESBR in Brazil could hand over the factory inspection mission, fully confident of the level of expertise, organisation and commitment that would be given to the project.

RAPID ORGANISATION
A full inspection and management team was created in 2009 in Chengdu, Sichuan to be close to DEC. The team incorporated French experts and Chinese inspectors recruited through Tractebel Engineering’s Chinese network, both for their language skills and knowledge of HP equipment and engineering. To start, the team also collaborated with CNR (Compagnie Nationale du Rhône – GDF SUEZ) gaining from its experience in Bulb Unit technology, and international inspection company Bureau Veritas. In addition, the team also incorporated two engineers from the Client side with the aim of familiarising them with the equipment prior to erection, commissioning and later operation and maintenance.

Starting from scratch, the team’s objective was to develop protocols enabling efficient inspection, process and product assessment, revision (as needed) follow-up and quality production of all components in line with international standards.


  • Jirau HPP-bulb unit (2012) Jirau HPP-bulb unit (2012)
  • Development of our own NON-CONFORMITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Development of our own NON-CONFORMITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
  • Jirau Hydro Power Plant - bulb unit diagram Jirau Hydro Power Plant - bulb unit diagram

 

STARTING RIGHT AND FOLLOWING THROUGH

Local presence and close interaction with DEC not only helped in developing a more trusting relationship, but also helped in defining a broader scope of services and interventions needed on the Jirau project; to the long-term benefit of all parties.

WIDE RANGING INSPECTION SCOPE
Given the scale of the Jirau order encompassing 22 full Bulb Units: turbines, generators and auxiliary components; governing systems, excitation system… DEC subcontracted various elements to different suppliers across China, splitting the order to secure supply. Up to 50 manufacturers across the country and even one in South Korea were finally involved for Tractebel Engineering to assess and follow.  An inspection mission of this kind requires careful planning, high mobility of inspectors and the introduction of strict and detailed inspection plans.

Since 2009, the Tractebel Engineering Inspection team has carried out numerous focused tasks to ensure optimum delivery of the Jirau HPP order:

  • Early Design Review and, where possible, optimisation of the turbine and generator unit designs produced by DEC – carried out in close cooperation with LEME/Tractebel Engineeering (Brazil)
  • Assessment of all suppliers and manufacturing processes and methods, with resident inspectors based in Deyang (Sichuan) and HangZhou but also dispatched to different manufacturing centres all over China.
  • Process adaptation recommendations to ensure conformity with contract and international standards – with follow-up to ensure changes are implemented.
  • Development of step by step, detailed inspection and testing plans for each component. On some components this entails only a few steps – for a complete generator as many as 50 steps can be involved.
  • Development of a non-conformity system, (shared with DEC) covering reporting of issues and importantly their resolution.
  • Implementation of a global and unit progress indicator tool to evaluate progress against the Jirau HPP development timeline.

“For the inspection team in China, the level of effort and expertise put into this mission has been important in terms of laying the groundwork and establishing procedures that can be used to benefit other HP equipment inspection projects in the future.”
Pascal Seret, Project Manager – HP Manufacture Inspections (China) Tractebel Engineering (France)


  • GIBE III HPP (Ethiopia) ©Tractebel Engineering (France) GIBE III HPP (Ethiopia) ©Tractebel Engineering (France)
  • Kainji HPP (Nigeria)-Bulb Unit 5-Distributor Factory Acceptance Test ©Tractebel Engineering (France) Kainji HPP (Nigeria)-Bulb Unit 5-Distributor Factory Acceptance Test ©Tractebel Engineering (France)
  • Kainji HPP (Nigeria)-Bulb Unit 5-runner Factory Acceptance Test ©Tractebel Engineering (France) Kainji HPP (Nigeria)-Bulb Unit 5-runner Factory Acceptance Test ©Tractebel Engineering (France)

 

SAVING COST AND TIME WHILE ASSURING QUALITY

As more developing countries look to HP as a sustainable energy source, the lower manufacturing costs (up to 20% or more) of HP components offered by Chinese suppliers are increasingly attractive. With an experienced and fully functioning team in place Tractebel Engineering is able to offer inspection services from the start – reacting to the unique circumstances of individual projects.

PUTTING NEW EXPERTISE INTO PRACTICE
Providing an HP focussed inspection service, backed with a high level of broad expertise in the field of Hydroelectricity sets Tractebel Engineering apart in China. Whether supporting foreign inspectors on specific missions or providing a full inspection package, ideally from the start of a project, this service can benefit all HP developers and EPC contractors – as recent additional missions are proving. Besides Jirau HPP in Brazil, projects that have already benefited from Tractebel Engineering’s inspection presence include:

GIBE III (Ethopia) – Spot inspections of subcontractor suppliers and equipment for the Electrical-Mechanical Equipment EPC contractor – Dongfang Electric Corporation (DEC).

KAINJI (Nigeria) – Within an Owner’s Engineer framework, the inspection of turbine and generator manufactured by HARBIN Electric Corporation  – North China
Read also – Repowering of Kainji Hydroelectric power station by Thomas Blanié, Pascal Seret, Samuel Renaud

LOM-PANGAR (Cameroon) – Within an Owner’s Engineer framework, the inspection of gates and hydro steel structure manufactured by CWE/Sinohydro  – Yunan China

“Our 5 years focussed on HP Chinese Manufacture Inspection has confirmed for me that in China the natural orientation is towards “finishing” whereas our western orientation leans to “improvement”. With our inspection team in place and available to developers and EPC contractors alike – the advantages of outsourcing of equipment manufacture are increased and the risks greatly reduced.”
Pascal Seret, Project Manager – HP Manufacture Inspections (China) Tractebel Engineering (France)

For more information on Tractebel Engineering’s expert and tailored services visit tractebel-engineering-gdfsuez.com


Value Inspection

“When crossing the manufacturing standards line of different cultures, it’s clear that added value is gained by incorporating inspection from the start and following every step to ensure any issues are dealt with as soon as they happen. Arriving only for Final Acceptance Tests (FAT) is too late – by then you could either be limited to accepting equipment that may not be fully in line with expectations and standards or lose several months or so to redo the work.”
Pascal Seret, Project Manager – HP Manufacture Inspections (China) Tractebel Engineering (France)

More information

Pascal Seret, Project Manager  Team Leader HP Manufacture Inspections (China) Tractebel Engineering

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