The Thermal Equipment and Services segment of Charlotte-based SPX was awarded a contract worth approximately $35 million to supply an air-cooled condenser (ACC) for an 835 MW natural gas-fired, combined cycle power plant scheduled to be constructed in Israel. The contract was awarded by Alstom, which was previously awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the plant by Dalia Power Energies Ltd. A portion of SPX's contract was received in Q4 2012 and was included in backlog reported at year end.

With two 417 MW, gas-fired combined cycle units, the Tzafit plant is expected to be the country's largest privately owned power station. Located approximately 25 miles southeast of Tel Aviv, the plant is scheduled to be commissioned in 2014. It will add 835 MW to the national grid, representing roughly seven percent of Israel's installed power generation capacity.

"The Tzafit combined cycle power plant represents a significant power infrastructure expansion for Israel and is expected to sharply increase the country's ability to meet future electricity demand," said Gene Lowe, SPX segment president.

According to Israel's Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, electricity consumption in Israel is expected to double in the next 20 years as a result of population growth, rising living standards and climate changes.  Due to its location at the intersection of Israel's national electricity grid, the Tzafit combined cycle power plant is expected to feed additional electricity to the northern and southern sections of the grid, and thereby increase the reliability of the overall electricity supply.

Diminishing water resources and increased water pollution concerns have led to the growth of dry cooling systems. An air-cooled condenser is made of modules arranged in parallel rows, with each module containing a number of fintube bundles. An axial-flow, forced-draft fan located in each module forces the cooling air across the heat exchange area of the fintubes. This technology allows for the elimination of water usage from the condensing power cycle as well as flexibility in power plant site selection and decreased time required for plant permitting.