Multinational conglomerate, General Electric (GE), has carried out the first in-country repair of one of Dangote’s GE LM6000 aero-derivative gas engines, which developed a fault after two years of operation just as the company said it is committed to investing $2 billion in facility development, skills training, and sustainability initiatives across Africa by 2018.
President and CEO, GE Nigeria, Dr Lazarus Angbazo, while speaking on the recent collaboration between his company and Dangote Cement Plc which culminated in the gas engines said it is the first time such a delicate repair project would take place in Nigeria and the second instance in sub-Saharan Africa.
In a statement issued by the company, GE noted that when Dangote Cement reported that the turbine which contributes about 47 MW to 180MW combined capacity at the facility, had developed a fault, “GE decided to repair the LM6000 engine in Nigeria, leveraging its worldwide network in order to assemble the people, parts and tools needed to undertake this skilled and delicate work.”
The company then assembled a crack team of engineers made up of Wiebe Van der Werff, a Dutch expert who was flown into the country to work with a Nigerian team led by Nwabueze Adiuku of the GE service shop in Port Harcourt alongside granite field engineers led by Sadiq Ayomide.
This in-country initiative brought Dangote Plc savings in time and cash worth a whopping $2.5 million. The statement quoted the expert field service engineer, Wiebe Van der werff as saying: “doing this in-country has reduced the Unit ideal time and also brought large cost savings for the customer.
“Excluding logistics, transportation & custom clearing, normal depot scope will cost the customer a minimum $3.5MN but doing this in-country will cost less than $1 million” Commenting on what the project means for his Nigerian team, Adiuku noted that “it gives us an idea of what we can achieve with Emerald, Calabar when the facility gets commissioned in 2017.”
For Ayomide, the feat “is a major breakthrough for me as a FS engineer and it shows that GE Power Solutions can be localised and for the customer (Dangote) it shows that we are always with them and are ready to provide cost effective solutions whenever the need arises.”
Angbazo described the project as a very important one for the organisation. He said: “By undertaking a service project of this scale and complexity in Nigeria, we help to expand our skills and capacity in this region. Not only has the decision to do the work locally significantly reduced costs for our client, it has enabled us to undertake the project with minimal disruption to production at the Dangote plant.”
He further noted that the successful completion of the project will further give confidence to the Dangote Group and propel more advanced maintenance works to be completed for SSA customers in a cost-effective and timely manner.
The turbine was transported by road from Obajana to Port Harcourt a distance of 440 km over a one- week period because the GE workshop has all the tools and standard facilities to carry out the scope of work.