Vietnam has an installed power generation capacity of about 55GW and GE helps supply 30 per cent of its electricity needs through its more than 25 gas turbines and seven steam turbines across 11 power plants and other projects throughout the country. These projects enable Vietnam’s economic development and are each a testament to the hard work and dedication of more than 1,800 GE employees throughout Vietnam, including the people who are the boots on the ground from GE’s factories in Vietnam such as Phu My and Dung Quat.
|GE factory in Vietnam |
In this article, Thieu Mai, GE senior regional customer application engineer shared about how those people are making the difference.
Phu My Reconditioning Workshop: GE turbine “doctors”
As a joint venture between GE and Power Generation Corporation 3 (EVN GENCO3), Phu My is the only gas turbine components repair workshop in Vietnam. The site is managed and operated by GE and houses about 80 employees – all of whom are Vietnamese – and supports local economic development by locally sourcing up to 20 per cent of the facility’s direct input materials. This investment of more than $20 million has helped many large thermal power plants in Vietnam, including the Phu My power plant, the Nhon Trach power plant, and other power plants of Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) and other international customers.
But what really makes this power plant special? According to Cong Nguyen Dinh, an engineer at GE’s Phu My power plant, each engineer is a technical doctor. “Our patients are the many parts of the different gas turbine models that are damaged or require routine maintenance. This treatment isn’t easy at all. Mild cases take about 20 days, but severe ‘illnesses’ can take 3-4 months to repair,” he said.
The other factors setting Phu My apart in the industry is the rigorous pursuit of continuous innovation supported by a significant investment in talent and resources. Besides repairing turbine parts, the team also actively seeks for opportunities to enhance the facility’s repair capabilities and expand its product portfolio.
This productive and dynamic approach allows for tremendous speed and agility in operations. Within 6-8 months, typically, a team of five engineers, along with the production department, can complete the production process for 5-6 new products.
Dung Quat heat recovery steam generators facility: People boosting power
The Dung Quat heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) facility is one of the only two GE HRSG factories in the world. It became a GE facility with the 2017 acquisition of Doosan Engineering & Construction’s HRSG business and houses more than 300 skilled workers and 200 contractors who manufacture and supply HRSG parts for 9HA.02 projects throughout ASEAN.
Every day, Dung Quat engineers work to help global customers boost their power output while increasing domestic value by locally sourcing up to 50 per cent of the facility’s direct input materials. Today, the plant is committed to increasing capacity by 40 per cent and reducing cycle time by 25 per cent. The facility is also working to support and develop local human resources through partnerships with universities to deploy high-quality training courses.
For Khoa Nguyen, LEAN manager, the Dung Quat facility is unique not only because it is one of the only two of its kind in the world but because of its focus on innovative ways to improve the facility’s efficiency and output.
“Every day of my work starts by walking around the plant observing the way everything operates, looking for any signs of waste in our processes and thinking about new ways to improve.”
Khoa is also a member of the Moonshine Shop – a LEAN manufacturing innovation group that meets regularly to discuss improvements to the facility’s operations. So far, the Moonshine Shop has initiated more than 100 innovative ideas that are helping the Dung Quat facility to operate more efficiently, with a 40 per cent increase in profitability and a 25 per cent reduction in production cycle time.
“To me, the greatest achievement is that what I do contributes to improving value for my colleagues and overall plant operations. I am very proud to be a part of GE and contributing to improving the efficiency of power plants around the world,” he said.