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Regenerating a refinery cogen’s Frame 7EA rotors

7EA Hybrid New/Used Phoenix Rotor gives facility the best of both worlds

  • Life Extension
  • Industrial
  • Gas Turbine Services
Gulf Coast, United States
Regenerating a refinery cogen’s Frame 7EA rotors

The challenge

Going beyond rotor end of life

Gas turbine rotors have a finite lifetime. Heavy-duty gas turbine rotors in particular, like the GE Frame 7EA.

Back in June 2007 (and later updated in 2011), the OEM issued a safety-critical Technical Information Letter (TIL) placing restrictions on running these units beyond 200,000 factored fired hours (FFH) or 5,000 factored fired starts (FFS).

TIL-1576 cites the risk of catastrophic failure and serious injury to nearby personnel. You could also face insurance claims being denied if you operate your units beyond these limits.

But for a power generation facility, the gas turbine is the key component. It’s the heartbeat of the entire operation. 

So plants with rotors approaching one or other of these end-of-life limits are faced with a tough decision: Do they buy an expensive new rotor from the OEM? Or do they purchase an aftermarket rotor that might not fit the operating timeline of the plant … and which often isn’t backed by warranty?   

That was the position our client found itself facing in 2018. 

But, in fact, those weren’t the only two options available.    

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The solution

Marrying the old with the new

Our client owns a cogeneration facility that supplies electricity and steam to an adjacent refinery. One of their GE Frame 7EA gas turbine unit rotors was a year or two away from reaching its end of life. But our client realized they would be operating that unit well beyond the estimated 8 years offered by an aftermarket rotor.


The plant was looking for a life extension option that was low risk, cost-effective, flexible, and minimized downtime. It just so happened we had recently developed the ideal solution.


Our Phoenix RotorTM gives clients the best of both worlds: long-term operation without the high costs of purchasing a brand-new unit from the OEM. Using new and CPOTM (certified previously operated) components, our hybrid 7EA rotor is certified for 200,000 FFH. In essence, it adds an additional 25 years to your unit.


Our client was open to our Phoenix Rotor solution but, given the magnitude of the decision, due diligence was a must. What they already had with us, however, was a relationship of trust built up over many years.


Going back to 2005, we had performed all their outages. We had carried out all their parts repairs and maintenance. And they relied on us for just about everything on their 7EA gas turbines. That included handling the purchase and installation of valves when they had changed from hydraulic to electric controllers.


Building on that platform, we walked our client through the know-how that informed our engineers’ thinking. We answered all their questions. And we gave them a warranty, demonstrating how much we stood behind our solution.

The impact

Adding another quarter of a century

With the client giving us the green light, we delivered and installed their first Phoenix Rotor on time. They then operated our rotor for a season without any issues. So pleased were they that they gave us the green light for a second rotor, which we installed the following year.


Now, nearly four years later, both rotors have been running without any issues. As have another 8 Phoenix Rotors we’ve since installed for other clients.


Each of our rotors has given our client cost savings of around 40% compared with purchasing a new rotor from the OEM. And with a replacement they could drop in as soon as their old rotor was removed, they’ve avoided the potential for lengthy outages.


Not only have we regenerated the heartbeat of our client’s plant, but in the process we’ve cemented a relationship built on trust. By taking the time to listen to their wants and needs, we’ve shown them we truly are a partner who understands their business.

Key facts

  • Units returned to 200,000 factored fired hours 
  • Lengthy outages avoided
  • CapEx savings of around 40% compared with a new rotor from the OEM

How to keep your aging GE gas turbine running longer

Download our free eGuide for a comprehensive understanding of rotor end-of-life issues and navigating the market for solutions that reduce your risk and provide the most return on your investment


GE gas turbine rotor life extension eGuide


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