Announced as imminent, the departure of the SLN floating power plant has again been postponed for a few days. It would now take place on July 12. Navigation conditions made complicated by capricious and unstable weather explain this delay. From now on, the factory ship would arrive on August 25 in the harbor of Nouméa.
While the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine have brought entire sectors of economic activity to a halt or created a climate of uncertainty, the same crises have given rise to new opportunities for Turkish industry, and this time with New Caledonia.
“This first contract between New Caledonia and Turkey is a great opportunity for Karpowership. It allows us to access a new continent, but it is also an opportunity for Turkish investors and companies in New Caledonia”said Zeynep HAREZI, commercial director of Karpowership.
Historic contract between Turkey and Caledonia for nickel
The floating power station “Orhan Bey”, bears the name of a great Ottoman warrior, inherited by the vice-president of the Karadeniz group, of which Karpowership is a part.
Combining mainly Turkish but also German technology, the factory ship is intended to replace and improve SLN’s power supply to better produce its precious ferronickel.
The port of Yalova, located on the Asian side of the Sea of Marmara, is the logistics base of Karpowership, the world’s leading manufacturer of this jewel of technology. It is there, against the main wharf of the large shipyard, that the future SLN power station will still be located for a few days.
Its bow is turned towards the “Window of the Orient”, one of the nicknames of Istanbul, whose skyscrapers can be seen in the distance in the mist. About twenty sailors will make up the crew of the ship leaving for Nouméa.
Kapowership shipyard near Istanbul in Turkey with SLN’s temporary electric and floating autonomous power plant (CAT)
It is a state-of-the-art power plant, using low sulfur fuel oil, a floating plant specially designed to fit on a ship, and measuring 140 meters long, 50 meters high and 45 meters wide. An original idea conceived and developed by Turkish engineers.
While all of its components are smaller than on land, neither its power -200 MW- nor its energy efficiency – improved by 40% compared to the current SLN power plant – nor its environmental performance – it will emit 30% CO2 in less, and will greatly improve the environmental performance of SO2 and dust, at comparable power- are not affected, quite the contrary.
It will also be less noisy than the old power plant, which is out of breath, which it will replace for a planned period of three years.
A real asset: this temporary berthed power plant (CAT) will allow SLN to once again have enough stable and reliable electricity to continue producing ferronickel.
On the other hand, this large floating power plant will not reduce the cost of electricity, which represents 50% of the production cost of nickel at the Doniambo plant.
The price of energy supplied will remain stable. Neither SLN nor Karpowership (KPS) wished to communicate the amount of the rental contract for the floating plant with its fifty technicians.
Zeynep HAREZI, commercial director of the world leader Karpowership and Paul LAWY project director of SLN in front of the future floating power plant of the Doniambo nickel plant in Caledonia
“After its next departure, it will take 45 days for the floating power plant to reach Doniambo”welcomes Paul Lawi, project manager at SLN, who came to attend the final preparations in Istanbul. “The contract was negotiated and concluded in three months, a record time. It is the result of collective work that mobilized our teams, those of Karpowership, and all the managers of the Territory”.
It now remains for the ship to sail, due south and east, through the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Timor Sea, the Coral Sea and finally, the Pacific Ocean along the northeast coast of Australia before reaching Noumea. A very long journey.
“Orhan Bey” will be berthed and connected to shore equipment being installed by SLN and Enercal, but also connected to public distribution.
Operated by Turkish specialists and specially trained Caledonians, the temporary autonomous power plant (CAT) will be commissioned in mid-September. The power plant will ramp up over a planned period of 6 months to completely replace the current plant in the 1st quarter of 2022.
The CAT comes to replace, for three years, the current plant, after 50 years of service.
Next: the installation of other electricity production tools integrating renewable energies and means of production on which the Government of New Caledonia is working, as part of its major decarbonization plan. As a committed stakeholder, SLN sees this as an opportunity to produce a premium nickel that respects the environment in the short term.
“The power or energy of friendship” inscribed on the SLN power station of Karpowership, Turkey’s world leader in floating factories