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Itaipu beats record of availability of generators for the 2nd consecutive year
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08/01/2019

The 2018 Itaipu high power production can be explained by several factors. One of them was the high operational availability index, that is, the time when the generating units were available to produce power. Last year, in addition to reaching its fourth-largest historical production, with 96,585,596 megawatts-hours (MWh) generated, the binational company hit its operational availability record for the second consecutive year, reaching 97.16%.


Reassembly of the laboratory for new processes U06. (Photo: Alexandre Marchetti)

According to Acting Assistant Superintendent of Maintenance, Marco Aurélio Mauro, the high power production in the last years goes along a growing increase in generating units availability. The index is one of the four factors that interfere in plan’s production, along with consumption demand, water flow and transmission system. And it is the only one that depends exclusively on Itaipu and on a proficient management of the area.

"The index reached in 2018 is due specially to adjustments in generating units maintenance," explains Marco Aurélio. According to him, it was improvement in the area processes that contributed to increase performance of the generating units since 2012. "As improvements do not stop, by 2019, if everything is aligned and the activities take place as planned, without major unforeseen, we project to reach a new brand, with a availability close to 97.60%."

Acquirements

The improvement of Maintenance processes has taken place more effectively since 2012. That year, the Maintenance area finished the work on the U06 generating unit, which was left out of the system for more than a year due to detection of cracks in the turbine wheel by September of 2010. The dismantling and reassembly of the U06 was a laboratory for the area to improve its processes.

Acquirements with the U06 allowed the Maintenance area to rearrange the periodicity of the stops, review inspected items, implement process improvements, re-adjust activities and manage knowledge, by a greater qualification of professionals in the area.

As of 2013, there was an increase in the availability index, which jumped from 93.86% in 2012 (still under the influence of the U06) to 96.21% in 2013. In 2017, the index surpassed 97% for the first time and is expected to beat record by the end of 2019.

For the full period, from 2013 to 2019, Maintenance increased by 192 days the time that the generating units are available to generate energy, therefor making it easier to meet demands of the systems and to take advantage of the surges in the reservoir.