Helping a Country in Crisis
On July 11, 2011, an explosion rocked the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base in Zygi, Cyprus. 98 containers of explosives detonated accidentally, killing 13 people and damaging buildings all over the island. The estimated damage to the Cypriot economy was estimated to be more than €3 billion.
Nothing was spared from the explosion wave, including the Energy Authority of Cyprus’ (EAC) Vasilikos Power Station, which was responsible for 50% of the country’s electricity. Four 7FA gas turbines were knocked offline, causing a countrywide energy shortage.
Finding a Solution
At GE, we know that our customers are our partners every day—not just the good days. That’s why a GE team sprang into action immediately, supplying parts and performing repairs within days of the disaster. More than 200 GE repair engineers and other technicians contributed to a rehabilitation effort and helped repair or replace more than 10 major turbine components.
The rapid rehabilitation effort was critical for EAC, Cyprus, and its residents, helping the country regain control of its power as well as limit the significant costs associated with the use of temporary generators. Two of the four turbines were back in service less than a year after the incident, an unprecedented statistic for a disaster of this magnitude.
Cyprus' electricity sector relies on imported petroleum products, and as a result, electricity prices in Cyprus are some of the highest in the European Union. The country’s goal is to develop a more localized energy portfolio, and the planned construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at Vasilikos will go a long way towards that goal. In the meantime, though, GE and EAC continue to work together to keep Vasilikos, and Cyprus, powered and running.