Digital Transformation of Kuwait’s Power Sector
KUWAIT: As part of its sweeping digital transformation of the electricity landscape, General Electric (GE) is implementing Predix-based digital industrial solutions to help its customers deliver more reliable and efficient electricity. In its latest digital transformation, connected machines, equipped with data sensors, collect vast amounts of information into a centralized and secured data platform, which is analyzed to predict and diagnose equipment problems.
“This is all about making sure that the customers get as much value as possible. The idea is to identify the problems before they cause a fault,” Steven Martin, Vice President & Chief Digital Officer Power Digital GE told Kuwait Times. GE has developed end-to-end software and cloud solutions to support power customers’ digitization efforts. This includes the activation of product, service and solution roadmaps, and designing new customer experiences and business models.
“The digitization of assets strengthens reliability, offers predictive insights, reduces costs and increases efficiency. It also has long-term strategic advantages,” Steven Martin explained. On the digital twin, he said they are dynamic digital representations of physical assets based on rich profiles, data, and analytics. “Digital twin intelligence is the key to understand, predict, and optimize asset performance,” he added.
“GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) digital solution has helped customers improve the reliability of power generating machines, reducing unplanned downtime by up to five percent,” explained Bhanu Shekhar, Chief Digital Officer for GE Power in the Middle East and Africa. “It has also reduced false positive alerts by up to 75 percent and reduced operations and maintenance costs by up to 25 percent.”
More sustainable costs
In another development, GE Power completed, ahead of schedule, the digital transformation of Kuwait Ministry of Electricity & Water’s 2,000 megawatts (MW) Sabiya Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) Power Station. This will help to make the site’s operations more reliable, while contributing to its enhanced performance at lower, more sustainable costs. The project marks the first time that GE’s Predix-based software applications for industry are being used in Kuwait and represents the beginning of the digitization of the country’s power sector.
Engineer Mohammed Boshehri, Undersecretary of Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water, said, “Our goal is to support the nation’s focus on strengthening the energy infrastructure and helping achieve Vision 2035 to transform Kuwait into a regional leader in all sectors. Delivering reliable power and ensuring that we have highly productive power assets is a key in accomplishing our goals. The digital transformation of Sabiya CCGT, using GE’s advanced digital technologies, aims to further strengthen resource utilization and productivity.”
Several plant assets at Sabiya CCGT, including combustion turbines, hydrogen-cooled generators, heat recovery steam generators, steam turbines, and condensers, among others, were brought onto GE’s Asset Performance Management (APM) software application. The software leverages advanced data analytics to predict and reduce unplanned downtime, improving power plant availability and output.
As part of the digital migration, GE installed APM’s Machine & Equipment Health Module, Reliability Management Module and Monitoring & Diagnostics Services. “The digital transformation of Sabiya CCGT Power Station highlights our commitment to help unlock the true potential of Kuwait’s power infrastructure,” said Joseph Anis, President and CEO of GE’s Power Services business in the Middle East and Africa. “Digitizing power plants presents an opportunity for both growth and cost savings and we are proud to have completed this landmark project ahead of schedule to increase the plant’s uptime and enhance its performance.”
APM, powered by Predix, gives industrial businesses a complete, integrated view of their assets and equipment. Predix is GE’s industrial application development platform and was purpose-built to meet the scale, complexity, speed, and security requirements of industry. The APM solution enables the Kuwaiti Ministry of Electricity and Water to boost asset reliability and availability at Sabiya CCGT. The connected machines, equipped with data sensors, collect vast amounts of information into a centralized and secured data platform. The analysis of this data provides insights to predict and diagnose equipment problems before they happen, thus reducing unplanned downtime.
The project builds on GE’s strong legacy of contributions towards the development of Kuwait’s power generation sector. GE’s investments in Kuwait include the GE Kuwait Technology Center, that serves three core areas for energy sector customers across the Middle East and Africa: training, tooling, and engineering. GE technologies deliver over a third of Kuwait’s power today and the company creates employment for more than 250 people in the country.
General Electric is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive, and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the ‘GE Store,’ through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure, and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology, and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.
By Chidi Emmanuel