Ternium is making a 6-million dollar investment in the scheduled maintenance of the thermoelectric plant's ST18 steam turbine, a process that occurs every six years and involves 200 people, including own employees and third parties.
With an installed capacity of 310 MW, the equipment generates power with steam from Coqueira and gas turbines.
According to Emerson Lamartine, Thermoelectric Plant Operation Coordinator, the investment is essential to operate at a high-quality level, and all care is being taken in the operation to return the equipment to full activity. “During the maintenance period, the entire set is checked to ensure 100% availability of the equipment. The main goal is to perform the inspection with zero incidents within the scheduled 35-day period so that we will be able to generate the maximum and assist in steel production,” he said.
The workflow follows the health and safety standards required by Ternium
The stipulated plan starts with the replacement of the turbine's full external structure and the subsequent review of the other components. This consists of dimensional analysis, non-destructive testing, ultrasound, blasting and other quality tests, at the low and high steam pressure rotors. In addition, inspections and overhauls are carried out on the main valves, pumps, and essential bearings to ensure the operational stability of the machine.
According to Amanda Andrade, the Thermoelectric Plant Manager, the initiative is part of complex operational planning that aims at maintaining consistency of the operation and prevent damage to workflow continuity. “This is a very assertive shutdown, where the whole team has to be very cohesive and united so that everything that was planned takes place as expected,” she said.
The maintenance involves the collaboration of approximately 200 employees, including Ternium's own and outsourced staff.
All the investment and effort that has been made is important for full verification of the equipment's conditions, constituting an indispensable step to maintain the turbine's operational stability for one more operation cycle.
Periodic maintenance is essential to ensure reliability and power delivery at a time when Brazil is going through a downturn period of reservoirs in the Southeast and Midwest hydroelectric plants, which reached the end of April with the lowest storage levels since 2015.
Learn more about Ternium Thermoelectric plant
Ternium's thermoelectric plant has been in operation since 2010 and has an installed capacity of 490 MW in operation. It has three turbines − the ST18 steam turbine, which generates 310 MW independently, plus two gas-fired generation turbines that produce 90 MW each. The Company uses up half the production of the thermoelectric plant and sells the remaining to the region's power distributors, such as Light, Enel, and Cemig, for example.