Siemens Austria takes up a logistic challenge in Bolivia

Shipping of two industrial gas turbines marks the starting point for a logistical megaproject

Siemens Austria takes up a logistic challenge in Bolivia

Siemens is expanding and modernising three existing thermal power plants of the state-owned Bolivian energy supplier Ende Andina SAM into industrial gas and steam turbines (combined cycle power plants). The entire project processing, including project management, logistics and engineering, is carried out by Siemens Austria’s Industrial Power Plant Solutions.

“By expanding and modernising the power stations, we are helping Bolivia to save a significant amount of natural gas and to increase electricity generation capacity by using state-of-the-art technology. This benefits not only the growing population and the developing economy, but also the environment,” says Wolfgang Hesoun, General Manager of Siemens Austria.

Bolivia’s position in the center of the continent also opens up promising opportunities for electricity export to neighboring countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay and Chile. Bolivia thus aims to become the energy hub of South America. In recent years Bolivia’s economy has grown with the highest growth rates in South America. In addition, the country has the second largest gas reserves in the region.

On May 12, the first two gas turbines were shipped from the Siemens plant in Finspång, Sweden. Following a 40-days journey across the Atlantic, the 87 tonnes turbines cross the Panamakanal. A further ten days later, they will be loaded to special transporters in the port of Arica, Chile.

“The great logistical challenge of this project is the interplay of many components – the number of heavy transports, passing the Andes, the climatic conditions, road conditions that can not be compared with ours, the long way to construction sites, and the limited number of equipment available,” says Hermann Meyer, Head of Power and Gas Division & Power Generation Services Division in Austria. Throughout the project, a total of some 400 heavy shipments will cross the Andes at almost 4,700 meters above sea level on the 1,800-kilometers road from Chile to the construction sites in Bolivia.

Siemens supplies all the main components for the three Bolivian power plants from production sites around the world. The scope of supply includes 14 industrial gas turbines, 11 steam turbines, 22 waste heat boilers, 25 generators, 25 transformers, 3 capacitors as well as control technology. In these projects the Spanish company TSK is responsible for the construction works, secondary plants, delivery of the high-voltage switchgear, as well as mechanical and electrical assembly.