The company is planning to move on with the work once the engine is finished.
“There are a lot of technical hurdles that we have to work through, which will take some time,” said CEO Jim Gannon.
“But we will finish the engine, and we will start building the steam engine,” he said.
The engine is currently being built at the company’s engineering plant in California, where it will be joined by the new, smaller engine that will power a small turbine engine that is already under construction.
“The turbine engine will be built in China and shipped out to our manufacturing facility in Kentucky, so we’re expecting to have the turbine engine up and running in 2019,” Gannon said.
“We have a lot more in the pipeline.”
“It’s a big step forward, and it’s not just a small step forward.
It’s a giant step forward in the history of the steam generator.”
In order to be ready for its maiden voyage, the steam turbine engine was put through the most rigorous safety tests ever undertaken by a steam generator.
It’s also been put through rigorous testing for corrosion, wear and corrosion issues, Gannon explained.
“There’s lots of stuff that has gone through this test, so the results are pretty conclusive,” he told AAP.
The steam turbine is the first step in a complex project that is expected to take at least a decade to complete.
The company said it expects to deliver the engine to customers in 2019.
“When it’s completed, we expect it to be the most powerful, reliable, efficient steam generator in the world,” Gandy said.
As the turbine is being built, the company will be adding new features to the engine as it works towards meeting the new requirement for a higher-efficiency turbine.
While the company hopes to get the turbine up and going by 2019, it is also working to reduce the cost of the project to make it cheaper.
“It does make sense to get it running and to start shipping out the turbine, so that it’s available for the general public,” Gilly said.