Mary State Electric Station, 8 September 2018 – Ashgabat 9 September 2018 (nCa) — The power generation capacity of Turkmenistan increased by about 30% on Saturday when a combined cycle power plant was put into operation at the Mary State Electric (Station MaryGres).
President Berdymuhamedov led the opening ceremony.
The powerhouse, built by the Turkish company Chalyk Energy – Çalık Enerji – with turbines from General Electric (USA), reinforces the role of Turkmenistan as a regional supplier of electricity.
Here are some details of the project that is worth USD 1.2 billion:
Project Title: Mary-3 Combined Cycle Power Plant
Capacity: 1574 MW
Equipment: 4 gas turbines of 263.25 MW each, and two steam turbines, 260.5 MW each, supplied by General Electric
Voltage Level: 500 kV & 220 kV
Commencement Date: July 2015
Date of Delivery: December 2018 [Project delivered ahead of deadline]
Employer: Ministry of Energy, Turkmenistan
The combined cycle plant is ecologically friendly, reducing the emission of polluting substances by 3.1 million tons annually. It is also cost efficient, using the heat generated in the generation process to produce more electricity. The efficiency of a simple cycle plant is 34.2% whereas the efficiency of a combined cycle plant is 56%.
During the ceremony, the heads of several reputed institutions awarded their certificates of recognition to the freshly opened power plant:
Ms. Annie Sasco, Director for Europe of the Environmental Health Trust (USA) – Environment Certificate
Andreas Jansen, Regional Director for Europe, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology – High technology energy plant certificate
Anton Lepigson, Director of Energy Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion – Sustainability and Efficiency Certificate
The total power generation capacity of Turkmenistan was 5358.4 megawatt which has been raised to 6932.8 megawatt with the opening of this plant.
The State Electric Station Mary (MaryGres) is the largest power generation complex in Turkmenistan. Prior to the commissioning of the combined cycle plant its generation capacity was 1831.7 megawatt, which has now been raised to 3406.1 megawatt.
nCa Commentary by Tariq Saeedi
President Berdymuhamedov said at the opening ceremony that the commissioning of this plant will help increase the electricity exports to Afghanistan and cover the expected commitments to Pakistan under TAP (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan electricity transmission network).
The statement of the Turkmen president points to the long and hard work the country has done for positioning itself as an exporter of electricity to the region.
Of the current capacity of 6933 megawatt, Turkmenistan can export up to 3720 megawatt annually. The opening next year of the Zerger plant being done by Sumitomo of Japan will add another 432 megawatt to the surplus capacity of Turkmenistan.
The transmission and distribution infrastructure is ready to handle this volume of export.
Some of this includes:
- Construction of 500 kV Kerki substation
- Reconstruction of 220 kV Watan and Farab substations
- Construction of 500 kV overhead transmission line from 500 kV open switchgear of Mary power plant to Kerki substation
- Construction of 500 kV overhead transmission line from Kerki substation to the border of Afghanistan
- Construction of Mary-Sarakhs-Mashhad (Iran) 500-400 kV overhead transmission line
- Construction of high voltage Balkanabat-Gonbad (Iran) transmission line
- Construction of Imamnazar-Andkhoy, Serhetabat-Heart, and Rabatkashan-Kalainau lines to Afghanistan
The expansion of electricity export infrastructure and the capacity building in power generation is in line with Turkmenistan’s policy of active neutrality – strengthening the peace and stability through economic partnership.
The export of electricity is easy compared to export of natural gas. The transmission lines can be built at a fraction of the cost of a pipeline. Moreover, there are no environmental hazards in the power transmission.
The installation of power lines is not only cheaper compared to a gas pipeline, it also takes less time to put in place. In case of any damage, the repairs to the power transmission system can be done quickly and economically.
The current clients of Turkmen electricity are Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. Pakistan will buy electricity from Turkmenistan through TAP (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan power transmission network) and TUTAP (Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan network).
Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and some country in the Caucasus are also prospective buyers of electricity from Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan is energized for a proactive partnership with the region and beyond.