Shanghaimiao part of China’s push for more efficient coal-fired power plant designs

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China’s rapid construction of new power plants, needed to meet the country’s growing electricity demand, includes several gigawatts of coal-fired generation. The first 1 GW unit of a possible 4 GW installation in Inner Mongolia provides a model for more coal-fired power plants across the country.

Chinese officials have acknowledged the need to expand the country’s renewable energy, saying China aims to achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2060. At the same time, the government in Beijing knows that coal-fired power generation remains important for the country’s economy.

China began building at least 33GW of coal-fired power plants last year, with research groups saying that was more than three times the amount of the rest of the world combined. These groups said an additional 7.3 GW had been approved for construction in the first six weeks of 2022.

A recent report from State Grid Corp. of China said concerns over the country’s energy supply mean China could build up to 150 GW of new coal-fired power capacity from 2022 to 2025. The build comes after China brought in more than 38 GW of new coal-fired power online in 2020. Officials said those gigawatts are needed to meet record electricity demand; a heat wave in June, with temperatures well over 100F in Shandong province, resulted in record levels of electric load not only in Shandong but also in neighboring Henan province, according to state media.

Chinese government officials have told coal miners to increase production as much as possible. At a meeting in April, Cabinet officials endorsed plans to increase production capacity at national mines, saying the move is important for “energy security”. Coal mine production hit record highs, with the country’s utility stocks rising by 50 million tonnes year-on-year to 159 million tonnes in May, according to government data. Coal prices have been capped to make prices more acceptable to coal plant operators.

Advanced coal technology

The continued construction of coal-fired power plants makes China a testing ground for technologies designed to make coal-fired power plants more efficient, with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. An example is the 1,000 MW coal-fired Shanghaimiao Power Plant Unit 1 (Figure 1), known as Guodian Power Shanghai Temple Co., or simply the Temple project, which went live in December 2021, after a test period of 168 hours. The plant, located in Ordos in the coal-rich northwest region of Inner Mongolia, will eventually have four generating units and is the “largest thermal power project under construction in China”, according to Guodian Power.

1. Control room workers monitor operations at Shanghaimiao Power Plant in June 2021, six months before Unit 1 of the facility is commissioned. The first two 1,000 MW units at Shanghaimiao constitute the first phase of the project, with Unit 2 due to enter service this year. Units 3 and 4, or Phase 2 of the project, are expected to be in service by 2025. Courtesy of SPIC Smart Energy

Guodian Power officials claim the plant is equipped with desulfurization, denitrification and dust removal systems to control emissions. They said the plant’s technology puts the facility among the most efficient coal-fired plants in the world, with what they called the “lowest coal and water consumption rates”.

The plant’s advanced once-through ultrasupercritical boilers, from Babcock & Wilcox Beijing, are designed for use with pulverized coal. The company, based in Beijing’s Shijingshan district, said the equipment is typically applied to systems with a generating capacity of 400 MW or more, typically operating at throttling pressures of 3,500 psi (24 .1 MPa) or more, and produce vapor temperatures in the range of 1,100F (595C). Other equipment includes an air-cooled generator, and each of the site’s four eventual units will have a 240-meter high chimney.

POWER selected Shanghaimiao Unit 1 as the coal-fired power plant, due to the project’s advanced design and its importance to China’s need to increase the country’s power generation capacity.

Connected to main transmission line

The Shanghaimiao power plant is part of China’s strategy to supply electricity through the 800 kV, 10 GW Shanghaimiao-Shandong ultra-high voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission line, which has been operational since January 2019. to Shandong Province on the eastern coast of the country. The line covers 1,231 kilometers (765 miles). ABB supplied advanced converter transformers for the line, supplying 509 MVA converter transformers, together with 800 kV/6,250 A DC circuit breakers and wall bushings.

Shandong is the second most populous province in China, with a population of around 101.6 million in 2020. The capital, Jinan, has a population of around 9.2 million. Shandong is one of the wealthiest provinces in China and is home to several large companies. The province is the largest industrial producer and one of the main manufacturing provinces in China. A reliable supply of electricity is therefore important for the economic development of the region. Its coastal location also makes it an important area to facilitate the export of Chinese products.

2. The large plate beam, secured with steel cables and protective shelters, is shown here ready to be lifted to the top of the Unit 1 boiler in September 2020. The plate beam weighs 86.2 tons and was lifted to a height of 84.8 meters by a 1,600-ton crawler crane. Courtesy of: China Energy Investment Corp.

Construction of the Shanghaimiao power plant (Figure 2) began in June 2019, after the Environmental Protection Bureau of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region approved the environmental assessment report for the project in July 2016. The power plant is built in two phases, each with two 1,000-MW units. Unit 2 should be commissioned this year; the two units in phase two are expected to be commissioned by 2025. The estimated investment for phase one is just over $1 billion.

“During the construction of the project, the company closely controlled the six dimensions of ‘safety, high efficiency, environmental protection, low carbon, flexibility and intelligence’, and achieved the standard of thermal efficiency and environmental protection among coal-fired units of the same type and capacity in the world, and the consumption of coal for power supply,” Guodian Power said. The group said the Temple project had ” the lowest water consumption index for power generation”, and said it had achieved “many national firsts” for a thermal power station, including “the fewest downtimes for a one-touch start-stop”, as well as “most recovery steps [nine grades] among the 10,000 units with indirect air cooling. Guodian said Shanghaimiao is a “thermal power plant with the lowest backpressure (9 kPa) among air-cooled units, and the world’s first million-grade steel structure indirect air cooling tower “.

Guodian officials said, “During the trial operation of Unit 1, the main indicators of trial operation all reached excellent standards, the unit load met the requirements of network programming, the investment rate of electrical protection, thermal control protection and automated instruments all reached 100%, and the investment rate of desulfurization, denitrification and dust removal devices reached 100 %. The measured emission concentration of soot is 1.73 mg/standard cubic meter, the emission concentration of sulfur dioxide is 3.08 mg/standard cubic meter, and the emission concentration of nitrogen oxide is 17mg/standard cubic meter, which is far lower than the national ultra-low emission. Standard.”

Coal supply

China Shenhua Energy, a state-owned mining company, supplies the coal for the plant. Guodian officials said the first two units are expected to burn up to 5.1 million tons of coal per year. A 7.3 kilometer long railway line was built specifically to transport the coal to the plant. Officials said the plant could, if necessary, receive up to 11.8 million tonnes of coal each year.

Unit 1 was built by China Energy Engineering Group Jiangsu No. 3 Power Construction Co., which also configured the coal conveying system and a 500 kV booster station. Guodian Longyuan Power Technology Engineering was the general contractor for the project.

State Power Investment Corp. Integrated Smart Energy Technology, also known as SPIC Smart Energy, provided preliminary design and engineering services for the Shanghaimiao plant. Guodian Environmental Protection Research Institute compiled the environmental impact assessment report for the first phase of the project.

Other companies involved in the project include Anhui Zhonggong Logistics, which has been contracted to provide equipment management and construction material warehousing services. Shandong Chengxin Engineering Construction provided construction supervision services. Shenzhen Tuwei Technology provided virtual design and construction software.

Shuangliang Energy Saving System and CABR Technology jointly built the cooling tower of Unit 1, Henan DR Construction Group Steel Structure providing the tower steel structures. Weitelong Fire Safety Group was responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the plant’s fire protection system.

“The commissioning of the first unit of Guodian Power Shanghai Temple Co. Ltd. will provide high-quality economic development power supply guarantee for the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region,” Guodian officials said when the unit 1 entered commercial service. “[It will] provide reliable power support for Shandong’s power grid. »

Darrell Supervisor is associate editor of POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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