Qarun Petroleum Company has obtained approval from Apache Corporation for the construction of a new dual fuel power station in East Baharia. East Baharia is one of the key production areas for Qarun with a production rate of 10,000 BPD. This project was initiated to allow Qarun to gain more achievement in oil production while at the same time minimizing the oil to barrel production cost.

East Baharia and Heba currently contain 78 oil and water wells. Production at these wells is achieved by artificial lift using electric multistage centrifugal submersible pumps.  Small standalone diesel power generators ranging between 256-480 kW power each pump electrically. The annual diesel fuel cost for all of the generators combined is approximately 19 million USD annually.

In an attempt to reduce this high operating expense of diesel, Qarun has begun to re-engineer the generators to use less expensive fuel gas. In order to get this low cost fuel gas to the Western Desert construction commenced on a gas-fueled 16 MW power station to feed East Baharia and Heba. In addition to the generators, the wells also feed the oil storage stations, water injection stations and other utilities such as camps and administrative buildings.

The project consists of 6 gas turbines each rated at 3.2 MW capacity, a switchgear building and a MV transformer station to feed the overhead transmission line which will deliver the power to the wells, oil stations and water injection stations. The transmission line system will be 30 km in length and will deliver the gas from the Abo Elgharadiek / Dahshour Gas pipeline.

The power station in East Baharia will eliminate the 78 individual well site generators, which are currently in service. The estimated savings in capital associated with the transfer of the 78 generators to remote locations is approximately 4.29 million USD, which does not include the contracts for the rental of 13 additional generators.

In addition to cutting costs, the new power plant will also reduce down time for production and improve the efficiency of the operation and increase the life time of the down hole pumps.

The transmission lines will provide the high power required to operate the huge water injection pumps, which are not currently utilized due to lack of power given by normal industrial generators. The project will also minimize the hazards of diesel fuel transportation.

The cost of this project is estimated to be around 47 million USD. ENPPI is responsible for the engineering and design work, while E.M.C. is carrying out maintenance and mechanical works and Petrojet completing the gas pipeline installation. The project is expected to finish by the 3rd quarter of 2013.

Qarun hopes to enable Egyptian companies (E.M.C. – Petrojet – Enppi – Sweedy – A.B.B. – Almaco) to work on the project, which has valued investments of about 26 million USD and total foreign investment of about 21 million USD in gas turbines. This project will increase the confidence of foreign partners who use Egyptian products and inevitably benefit the Egyptian economy by providing foreign currency in addition to job creation for technical cadres.

Current project status:

  • Supplied and installed six dual fuel turbine sets
  • Switchgear is 75% constructed and expected to be finished by mid of 2013
  • Diesel and fire fighting tanks have been installed
  • All other project stages are in progress
  • The first power turbine is expected to start up in second quarter of 2013.

By: Mohamed Gamal El-Din Monsor – General Projects Manager, Qarun Petroleum Company