Performance Testing

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Power plant with 2 gas turbines, 2 HRSGs, steam turbine and air cooled condenser. The performance tests have been witnessed by employees of CerTa Veritas


Did you get what you paid for?

Building a new power plant is a multi-million investment. Taking over and operating a power plant requires accurate key performance data. During its service life a thermal power plant consumes large amounts of fuel, responsible for the major part of the cost price of the electricity produced. The conversion efficiency of fuel into electricity (and/or heat and/or desalinated water) is a Key Performance Indicator for these plants. Heat rate and maximum output – within the technical and environmental limits – directly influence the operating profit or loss. Therefore, dependable capacity and heat rate belong to the most decisive parameters when making the multi-million investment decision. Verification whether the contractual figures are actually met, is not only of paramount importance for power plant owners and contractors, but also relevant for operators, investors and power off-takers.

CerTa Veritas performance testing services

Using the services of CerTa Veritas (former PTM group of KEMA) as an internationally operating, widely recog­nized, independent third party for power plant perfor­mance assessments saves time and money and gives an unbiased judgment of the performance of your plant, that can be used in important business decisions like plant take-over from a contractor. CerTa Veritas has an extensive track record in conducting and witnessing of performance tests and is unequalled in experience worldwide. CerTa Veritas will assist you as a client with performance-related issues and will make sure you will be pleased with our service and support.

Performance Testing

Considering the possible future consequences it is important that prior to plant take-over from the contractor an appropriate performance test will be executed, to demonstrate whether the agreed performance guarantees are met. Such test is not a sinecure, since not all required process variables can be directly measured with sufficient accuracy using the installed plant instrumentation. In additio­n multiple temporary high-accuracy (calibrated) sensors – and often lab-analyses for e.g. fuel samples – are required. Since the plant will never operate exactly on the contractually agreed reference conditions, the performance indicators determined at the actual test conditions shall be corrected to agreed reference conditions, in order to make them usable in the acceptance criteria for the plant take-over. Furthermore, since uncertainties are involved in the individual measurements, also the resulting corrected performance test results will have an uncertainty, that will be (significantly) higher than the uncertainty of the most dominant individual measurements. This requires careful selection of the uncertainty of these sensors.

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Example diagram of system boundary for gas turbine combined cycle plant (click to enlarge)

Why CerTa Veritas for Performance Testing?

CerTa Veritas is experienced to execute such performance test with its own calibrated instrumentation, and to witness as an independent 3rd party in case the test is executed by another party (e.g. the EPC contractor). As witness CerTa Veritas will review and discuss the performance test procedure and check whether the executing party prepares, executes and reports the performance test as agreed and according to good workmanship and internationally accepted performance test codes and standards (e.g. of ASME, ISO, EN). As indicated earlier the test results must be undisputable and of such quality that they can be used as decisive quantity in the acceptance criteria. Because the party doing the performance test can have own interests in the results (e.g. in case the EPC contractor is doing the test and has to demonstrate that his contractual guarantees are met), an independent witness with no interests in the outcome, is of crucial importance to prevent or settle any discussions over the test results.

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Impression of ThermoWare™ performance test tool (click to enlarge)

CerTa Veritas (as successor of PTM group of KEMA) has an experience of more than 30 years in executing performance tests, provides these services world wide and is widely recognized as one of the leading companies in this field. This performance testing work is organized in a dedicated, specialized team, equipped with reliable and flexible measurement systems and dedicated thermodynamic software (Thermoware) for carrying out the required performance calculations in an efficient and reproducible way using standardized property calculations for the various media involved (fuels, steam/water, flue gas, etc). Our knowledge, experience, equipment, software tools and independency make CerTa Veritas a widely recognized player in the field of (independent) performance testing and enable us to provide customers with reliable and valuable performance data of their power plant(s). The results can be used as decisive data in important business decisions or transactions.

Project phases of a performance test with most important activities 

Key Benefits

  • meaningful, reliable results, that can be used in official acceptance/take-over procedures of complete power plants or parts of it
  • an independent basis for capacity and fuel compensation payments in case of ‘single-buyers’ of the produced electrical (and sometimes heat and/or water) output
  • an early indication whether the investment can be earned back according to plan
  • an indication if the plant produces electricity (and/or heat or water) with minimum fuel consumption
  • EPC contractor can hand over the plant to the customer in time without discussions about the quality of the performance assessment
  • banks (lenders) have more certainty that the plant owner can fulfill his interest and redemption paying obligations.

Building a new power plant is a multi-million investment. Independent verification whether the guaranteed performance is met, gives certainty in taking over the plant from the EPC contractor.

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600 MW steam plant under performance test

Selection of references

  • Fadhili, KSA, 1510 MWe/1144MWth Combined Heat and Power Plant: witnessing plant performance test (including review of performance test procedure and independent evaluation of test results)
  • Oman, Sohar 3, 1710 MWe CCGT, witnessing services plant performance test
  • Rotterdam NL, 2×430 MWe CCGT, witnessing (pre and post) eHGPI performance test of  both GTs (+ supply of temporary, high precision test equipment for a.o. GT inlet conditions). Furthermore, conducting + evaluation of plant performance test
  • Amsterdam, Bio-Energy combined heat and power plant (32 MWth, 8 MWe) with connection to district heating (performance test procedure, witnessing and evaluating performance tests, and reporting, high precision temporary test instrumentation for selected variables)
  • Marafiq, KSA, 2750 MWe/174MIGD: witnessing several tests
  • Ras Laffan C, Qatar, 2730 MW/63MIGD: witnessing services
  • Shuweihat S3, UAE, IPP: test execution and witnessing  services
  • Fujairah F2, UAE, 2000 MWe/130MIGD: witnessing services
  • Singapore, 800 MWe CCGT: execution HRSG performance tests
  • Rotterdam, NL,790 MWe coal fired power plant: witnessing services
  • Scotland, UK, 60 MWe, biomass CHP (Combined Heat & Power): witnessing services
  • Shams, UAE, 100 MWe CSP (Concentrated Solar Power Plant), witnessing services
  • Sostanj, Slovenia, 600 MW, coal fired power plant witnessing services
  • Chili, Angamos 2×270 MW, Norgener (2×135 MW), performance test procedures and execution of maximum power and heat rate tests of 2×2 coal fired power plants
  • Narva, Estonia, 300 MW, oil shale fired CFB power plant: supervision of guarantee performance tests
  • Rotterdam, NL, 290 MW GT pre and post overhaul  performance test
  • Tarragona, Spain, industrial steam turbine performance test
  • Fuzhou, China, witnessing performance test of a coal fired gasification based hydrogen and ammonia plant
  • Amsterdam, NL, performance test of biomass fired power plant with heat delivery to district heating (performance test procedure, test instrumentation, performance calculations and reporting)
  • Sohar, Oman, witnessing performance test combined-cycle plant (2 x 855 MW)
  • Fadhili, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, witnessing performance test of combined cycle plant with heat delivery (5 GT, 2 ST, 1519 MWe, 1447 t/h steam)
  • Abidjan, Ivory Coast, witnessing performance tests 253 MW gas turbine combined cycle power plant (simple resp. combined cycle)
  • Rotterdam, NL, witnessing pre- and post-performance tests “Advance Technology Package” upgrades of combined cycle units 10 respectively 20 (2 x 470 MWe).

Contact us for more information:

Jacques de Ruijter                                                  Mathijs Snippert

Principal consultant                                              Sr. performance consultant


tel. +31 6 1506 3675                                                +31 6 1506 3348