In 1990, GE announced it would begin development of the first-ever gas turbine with output greater than 40MW and a thermal efficiency above 40%. It was designated the LM6000, and was first introduced as the -PA model in December 1992. This turbine used a single annular combustion system with relatively few changes from the successful aircraft engine — the CF6-80C2. At the same time, GE began development of Dry Low Emissions (DLE) combustion technologies, culminating in the LM6000-PB model being introduced in December 1994. As the LM6000 fleet approached the 1 million-hour point, with an installed base of over 100 units, the next step — the development of a turbine with greater power and efficiency — was initiated, creating the LM6000-PC and -PD models. The launch of GE’s LM6000-PC/PD aero-derivative gas turbine was announced in 1996 and the first unit went into commercial operation in a power generation application in late 1997. The mechanical drive version of this gas turbine has been available as a product since early 1998. This machine opens an entirely new market segment, with interest being paced by the development of this segment requiring variable speed drivers with outputs greater than 50,000 shaft horsepower. Although some exploratory interest for mechanical drive applications was generated when the product was first announced, significantly greater interest within both gas pumping, and marine applications has been expressed recently especially considering changes in the global environmental regulations, energy prices, larger ships moving at greater speeds. Typical applications are new designs of large oil and gas production facilities — for gas pumping, processing, and natural gas liquefaction, as well as large marine and naval applications requiring high power-weight densities. GE is currently supporting several ongoing application studies using the LM6000 gas turbine as the driver of choice. This document provides the highlights of the development, testing and qualification of the LM6000 by General Electric as well as the certification program by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). Notable engineering accomplishments during this development include part power NOX abatement, auto-throttles, and cubic loading using a generator.

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