OPRA Turbines

Generating trust

As a leading developer of advanced gas turbines for power generation, OPRA Turbines has enjoyed considerable commercial success with double-digit growth over the last few years.

OPRA operations are concentrated in Hengelo, the Netherlands, but the business as such is very much global in character. The company’s key product is the OP16 gas turbine generator, which utilises OPRA’s proprietary all radial gas turbine technology.

OPRA can provide complete gas turbine generating packages in a variety of configurations to meet its customers’ specific requirements. The OP16 also benefits from a compact design, so it needs less space than axial turbines within the same power range. When European Oil and Gas Magazine last spoke to the organisation, its CEO Fredrik Mowill, elaborated on the OP16’s advantages: “Owing to the simple and robust all radial design of the OP16, it offers operational reliability which, as most of our customers are in the oil and gas industry, is a high priority.

“Additionally, it is the only advanced gas turbine available in the two MW power range; all other turbine manufacturers generally only have products above five MW. There are many new market opportunities in the smaller power range due to the development of smaller oil and gas fields, as well as decentralised CHP projects for industry. OPRA effectively covers projects up to around ten MW with multiple installations of the OP16.”

Commenting on OPRA’s flagship product now, Fredrik explains how it has fared over the last year and what’s on the horizon at the moment: “We’re continuously building on the OP16 technology which is already a very updated and advanced product, offering excellent efficiency and low emissions. We believe in continuous development of our engines; an example is the need to adapt to our combustion technology to different kinds of fuel. We expect the first commercial bio projects to be initiated this year. These projects would typically involve biogas or liquid fuels derived from waste. These fuels are often difficult to utilise effectively, but we have a combustion system that can handle that very well.”

Inevitably, the organisation has been affected by the global financial crisis, as even highly successful enterprises are not immune to the difficulties that the recession presents. Outlining how OPRA is responding to the challenge, Fredrik comments: “On the one hand the economic downturn has had an effect because some projects are delayed or put on hold but on the other hand, we’re quite early into our growth cycle – we are entering many new markets and see an overall increase in inquiries for new projects. Financing issues and a lower oil price are affecting the market, particularly smaller oil companies that are dependent on external financing. These businesses are struggling and some projects are postponed. However, all in all we’re positive about OPRA’s situation and we have more new projects coming in than being put on hold.”

Continuing, he observes: “We have altered our focus a little; oil and gas is a key market for us but we also have a stake in the industrial market for power generation, so we’re looking at that area more than we used to. We also have biofuel related projects that are quite promising. We believe these segments will constitute a larger relative part of our business in the upcoming years.”

Touching again on which markets the company is in the process of targeting, Fredrik summarises how OPRA will develop as a company in the future: “We have a number of projects coming up this year from new geographical regions where we’re entering the market–such as the Middle East, North Africa and India. We have a very competitive, globally marketable product and our objective is to cover key markets worldwide, either directly or through partners.

“Russia is our most established market but other targeted areas are following suit. Even in these difficult economic times we see a number of new opportunities. We’re positive that in addition to oil and gas, the industrial CHP, and bio fuel markets will be successful for us this year.”

Indeed, the future is bright for OPRA, which can easily be described as a forward-thinking company, and since it is supported by turbine technology that is characterised by its robustness, reliability, efficiency, low cost of ownership, low emission and also dual fuel, it is a safe assertion that the organisation will be developing, manufacturing and servicing power generation systems for years to come.

Opra Turbines

Services: Power generation systems