Thursday, January 01, 2004

Power grid repairs

The Baghdad East-Kirkuk 400-kV line, which went out of service on December 23 due to sabotage, was brought back online December 27. One tower had been sabotaged and at least one conductor cut 25 kilometers south of Tuz. Excessive rain made access to the area difficult, and repairs could not begin until an explosive ordnance disposal team cleared the site. Baghdad East-Kirkuk, a redundant line that transfers power from northern to central Iraq, also failed in mid-November due to high winds, causing a blackout across central and southern Iraq. Loss of the power line severely limits the network’s ability to transfer power since other north-south conduits--such as the 400-kV Baghdad West-Bayji line and the 132-kV Taji-Bayji line--need to be run on a relatively low load to ensure system stability.

The Musalla-Rumaila 132-kV line has been repaired and was re-energized on December 26. Seven towers on the line had been sabotaged since mid-December. The line transfers power from Al Basrah to An Nasiriyah and ties southern Iraq to the rest of the network.

Power production varied over the weekend, reaching a strong peak generation on December 25 and producing a consistently high number of megawatt hours.

December 23: 2,978 MW 66,890 MW hours
December 25: 3,757 MW 75,403 MW hours
December 26: 3,307 MW 75,943 MW hours
December 27: 3,535 MW 75,419 MW hours

As of December 27, 44 units with the capacity to produce 1,954 MW of power were offline for service. Twenty units with the capacity to produce 637 MW were out for unscheduled service and three thermal and seven gas turbine units with the capacity to produce 414 MW of power were out for scheduled rehabilitation. Nine thermal units and five gas turbine units with the capacity to produce 903 MW of power are out of service for scheduled maintenance.

Under a contract signed last week, General Electric will rehabilitate five generators at the Mosul East plant. Work is scheduled to begin today and last 35 days. The restored units will add 62 MW of capacity to the north.