The Besmaya combined cycle power plant is one of the biggest power plants in Iraq. Image courtesy of GE.
The Besmaya CCPP is being expanded with a capacity of 1.5GW. Image courtesy of GE.
The expansion project was approved in September 2019. Image courtesy of Government of Iraq.

The Besmaya combined cycle power plant (CCPP) is Iraq’s largest power generation facility with an installed capacity of 3GW. It is located outside the Kurdistan region, 25km east of Iraq’s capital Baghdad.

The CCPP was constructed in two phases with a capacity of 1.5GW each comprising 1GW simple cycle and 500MW combined cycle. It was developed by Mass Group Holding under a 20-year build, operate and own (BOO) contract awarded by Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity (MoE).

The construction of the project commenced in 2015, with the first phase being commissioned in 2017. The 1GW simple cycle capacity of the second phase was commissioned in 2018. The 500MW combined cycle capacity of phase two is expected to begin operations in 2020.

A 1.5GW phase three expansion of the Besmaya CCPP was approved by Iraq’s Council of Ministers in September 2019. The total capacity of the CCPP will reach 4.5GW after completion of the expansion in 2021.

Besmaya combined cycle power plant make-up

Phase one of the Besmaya CCPP comprises of two blocks configured as 2 x 2 x 1. Each block is equipped with four 260MW GE-9FA 3-series gas turbines in simple cycle, along with auxiliaries and associated balance of the plant equipment. The combined cycle unit includes two nominal rated 250MW C7 steam turbine generators, four heat recovery steam generators, surface type condensers and two wet type mechanical draft cooling towers.

Phase two of the CCPP consists of a simple cycle with four 260MW GE 9FA 3-series gas turbine and auxiliaries. The combined cycle includes two 250MW rated C7 steam turbine generators, four heat recovery steam generators, six transformers, and two air-cooled condensers.

The GE 9FA gas turbine has a rated output of 265MW with 3000 rpm (rotations per minute). The gas turbines operate on both natural gas and diesel oil. The GE C7 steam turbine has a design output of 250MW with an inlet pressure and temperature of 74 bar and 964.2F.

The heat recovery steam generator is of vertical type with high pressure and low pressure stages. The other components of the CCPP include six diesel fuel tanks with a capacity of 10,000m3, switchyards, main control system and multiple transmission lines.

Besmaya combined cycle power plant expansion

The third phase of the CCPP will have an installed capacity of 1.5GW. It will be installed with four 9F gas turbines, two steam turbines, four heat recovery steam generators and other auxiliaries.

The first 500MW capacity of the expansion is anticipated to be commissioned by 2020.

Power evacuation from Besmaya CCPP

The power is generated at 15kV and step-upped to 400kV by six dedicated generator step-up transformers. It is evacuated through 400kV and 132kV switchyards using multiple transmission lines to Iraq’s national grid.

Contractors involved

MGH and GE signed an agreement for development of phase three in September 2019. The agreement includes supply and installation of turbines and major equipment.

Flenco was contracted by GE for the supply of auxiliary system for phase three.

Enka Turkey signed a lump sump turnkey contract including engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) with MGH for phase one development in September 2014.

J&P Avax International signed an EPC contract worth £270.64m ($386m) for phase two in June 2016.

Omega SA was subcontracted by J&P Avax for detailed engineering services of roads and storm water drainage design, while Idreco was subcontracted for supply of condensate filtration equipment.

APPA Consult signed an agreement with MGH for installation of gas conditioning equipment, which was supplied by APPA’s vendor Petrogas-Gas Systems BV.

Convex ZT was subcontracted by APPA Consult for design review of civil works at phase one and two of the Besmaya combined cycle power plant.

The other contractors involved in phase one and two of Besmaya CCPP include CMI (boilers), Enexio (air and water cooling system), Siemens (main transformers), and Emerson (main control system).