Panda Power Funds is developing an 829MW combined-cycle power plant called Liberty Power Project, located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, US. Upon completion, the natural gas-fired plant is set to be the first power plant located within the Marcellus Shale gas formation region.
The US Department of Environmental Protection approved the project in October 2012. Ground-breaking was held in May and the plant is expected to commence operations in early 2016.
The project is expected create over 500 jobs, as well as produce enough clean energy to power one million Pennsylvanian homes, while offsetting 330 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Liberty power project details
Moxie Liberty, a fully-owned subsidiary of Moxie Energy, proposed the development concept of the natural gas power plant in Pennsylvania. Panda Funds acquired and closed financing for the project in August 2013. The project is expected to bring $5.97bn investments into the area’s economy during construction and the first ten years of operation.
The site is located in Asylum Township of Bradford County, approximately 45 miles north-west of Scranton, and measures roughly 33 acres (13.3ha).
Florida Power and Light Company is developing the new 1,250MW energy centre to replace the existing Port Everglades power plant.
The plant will comprise of two identical “single-shaft” power blocks, each including a combustion gas turbine and a steam turbine, which drives the electric generator. Waste heat from the combustion turbine exhaust will be directed through a heat recovery steam generator for producing steam required for running the steam turbine.
Exhaust emissions from the turbines will be lowered to permit levels using selective catalytic reduction (for NOx control) and oxidation catalyst (for CO reduction) processes built inside the heat recovery steam generators.
The steam in the turbine will be exhausted to an air-cooled condenser. Large cooling fans will condense the steam into water, which will be reused in the heat recovery steam generator.
Siemens turbine technology at Liberty power plant
The Liberty project will comprise Siemens SGT6-8000H gas turbine package, consisting of a turbine and a generator. It will be the first project in the US to install Siemens SGT6-8000H class gas turbines.
“The project is expected to produce enough clean energy to power one million Pennsylvanian homes.”
The turbine will have a gross power output of 274MW and an operational efficiency of more than 60% in combined cycle operations. It will have a faster cycling capability with the help of its fast-acting variable guide vanes.
The active turbine clearance control system will comprise of a hydraulic clearance optimisation system, which will help to reduce engine performance losses.
Financing for Panda’s Liberty power plant
Equity financing for the Liberty project was provided by Panda Power Funds and institutional co-investors. Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Ares Capital provided debt financing for the power plant while Union Bank acted as the documentation agent.
Siemens Financial Services provided $50m term-loan financing for the plant construction.
The engineering, procurement and construction contract for the CCGT power plant was awarded to the joint venture of Gemma Power Systems and The Lane Construction. The contractual scope also includes the engineering and procurement for the balance of the plant.
Siemens Energy was awarded a contract worth $400m for the supply of power plant blocks for the Liberty project. The equipment will comprise one SGT6-8000H gas turbine, one SST6-5000 steam turbine, one hydrogen cooled SGen6-2000H generator and one heat recovery steam generator, along with the overall electrical system and the SPPA-T3000 I&C system. The contractual scope also includes long-term maintenance and service for the power plant units.
The contract for conducting engineering and detailed design services for the Liberty project was awarded to Burns and Roe, a company based in New Jersey.