Drax: upgrading its intermediate pressure turbines after similar LP and HP work
Credit: Drax

AThe UK’s largest power station, Drax, has hired Siemens to upgrade its intermediate pressure (IP) steam turbines.

The move comes after the German engineering firm carried out a £100 million ($148 million) overhaul of the plant’s low (LP) and high pressure (HP) turbines. That work was carried out over five years and increased the overall efficiency of Drax to almost 40 per cent and reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes a year. Drax claims its turbines are now among the most efficient in the world.

Peter Emery, production director at Drax said: “We have taken the decision to upgrade the intermediate pressure turbines of the three generating units that are to be converted to burn sustainable biomass in place of coal. This will optimise the efficiency of those units by helping to offset any loss in efficiency experienced as a result of the change in fuel diet.

“The project builds on the success of the major turbine upgrade progamme completed last year and underlines our commitment to delivering leading operational performance in power generation.

“The new design means that the intermediate pressure turbine will be installed as a module, which will support the ease of installation and reduce the required outage duration.”

Earlier work on turbines at Drax
Credit: Drax

This project will be delivered by joint teams from Siemens in the UK and Germany. Siemens’ steam turbine engineering team in Newcastle is undertaking the design and draughting elements of the project. The IP modules will be manufactured at its factory in Mülheim an der Ruhr, with critical support from Newcastle’s engineering, projects and field service teams.

The turbines will be installed at Drax by an integrated team of Drax and Siemens engineers, technicians and craftsmen.

Each IP module weighs 63.5 tonnes and has 26 rows of blades. The first module is scheduled to be installed in 2014, with project completion in 2015.

Doosan wins $250m Polish boiler deal for waste-to-energy plant

German company Doosan Lentjes, part of Doosan Power Systems, is to deliver a complete boiler system for a new waste-to-energy (WtE) plant being built in Krakow, Poland.

The plant will use Doosan Lentjes’ proven air-cooled reciprocating grate and boiler technology.

The contract also includes engineering and procurement, as well as services for construction and commissioning.

The new Krakow facility will consist of two lines, designed to process up to 220,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste annually, making it the biggest WtE plant under construction in the country.

The $250 million project’s main contractor is POSCO Engineering & Construction Company of South Korea. The waste-to-energy plant, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, will produce both electricity and district heat.

Doosan Lentjes was formerly AE&E Lentjes until Doosan bought a 99 per cent stake in the firm, which is based near Dusseldorf.

Australian coal plant to be revamped into solar farm

Collinsville coal-fired power plant in Queensland, Australia, is to be turned into a clean energy park.

RATCH Australia (RAC), the Australian branch of the plant’s owners, Thailand’s Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Group, intends to transform the 180 MW coal plant into a 30 MW solar thermal installation and a 20 MW solar farm. The project feasibility study is estimated to cost $5.6 million.

Project development manager Anil Nangia said that the study would enable the firm to better assess the economic viability of converting aging coal plants into solar hybrid installations.

Alstom wins DolWin3 contract from TenneT

Illustration of how DolWin3 will work
Credit: Alstom

Transmission system operator TenneT has awarded the DolWin3 offshore project to Alstom.

The project connects North Sea wind farms to the mainland grid and has an investment volume of more than €1 billion ($1.2 billion).

“With this project, we help to take the energy turnaround another step forward and make it possible for offshore wind energy to make an important contribution to our future energy supplies,” said Lex Hartman, member of the board of TenneT. “With DolWin3 included, we will be able to supply a total of more than 6000 MW of clean energy from the North Sea – and we will be investing more than €7 billion in the energy turnaround.”

DolWin3 will be the third grid connection in the DolWin wind farm cluster in the south-western region of the North Sea and will offer a capacity of 900 MW. The project is due to be completed in 2017.

As the general contractor for TenneT, Alstom will supply and construct both the onshore and offshore converter stations as well as the connecting cable systems for DolWin3.

Power Machines wins double hydro projects

Russia’s Power Machines has signed turnkey contracts for 42 sets of excitation systems for the units at Volzhskaya and Zhigulevskaya hydropower plants.

In a deal signed with the plant’s ownder, RusHydro, Power Machines will manufacture and supply 22 sets of hydrogenerator excitation systems for Volzhskaya and 20 similar sets for Zhigulevskaya.

Power Machines will also provide supervision services during the equipment installation and commissioning, as well as carry out training for the plant staff.

The excitation systems are designed to supply automatically adjustable constant current power to the generator excitation windings. Work will begin this year and is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Pentair completes Doel shutdown

Pentair workers at Doel power plant
Credit: Pentair

Pentair Valves & Controls has successfully completed a major shutdown of Doel nuclear power plant in Belgium, operated by Electrabel.

Under its specialist service brands SABO and Sempell, Pentair provided comprehensive and effective shutdown support, minimising outage time and ensuring a smooth re-start within the specified timeframe.

Doel is Belgium’s second largest reactor and provides around 30 per cent of the country’s energy demand.

With a total of 370 valves on-site, most of which are installed within the primary circuit, the Doel 4 shutdown is Pentair’s largest service project to date.

Some 47 SABO and Sempell valve technicians worked on-site to complete the scheduled shutdown in only three weeks, keeping outage time to a minimum and avoidin

Mojave Desert solar plant poised for operation

BrightSource Energy
Heliostats (adjustable motorised mirrors) being lifted into place at Ivanpah solar thermal power plant in the Mojave Desert
Credit: BrightSource Energy

The world’s largest solar power plant has passed an important milestone and is almost ready for full operation.

The 377 MW Ivanpah solar thermal power plant in the Mojave Desert, near Las Vegas, in the US state of Nevada, passed its first functional test, or ‘first flux’. According to Mike Bobinecz, vice-president of construction management at BrightSource Energy, “first flux” essentially demonstrates that the plant is ready for operation.

Bechtel Corporation, the company constructing the plant, is finally at the last stage where it starts up the equipment and systems for the plant, which is co-owned by BrightSource Energy, Google and NRG Energy.


Monitran launch shakes up vibration meter market

Compact MTN/VM220 meter
Credit: Monitran

UK company Monitran has launched a compact, hand-held meter designed for detecting the early signs of component wear or failure in pumps, motors, gearboxes and other mechanical assemblies.

The MTN/VM220 meter includes a colour LCD display and has the ability to store up to 100 readings, including temperature and acceleration, velocity or displacement, against a real-time clock. The MTN/VM220 meter measures 122 x 78 x 28 mm and has a rubberised case and a long-life rechargeable battery.

It is supplied with a probe into which is integrated a dual-output, general purpose sensor, the MTN/2200T, which has default sensitivities of 100 mV/g and 10 mV/oC.

Siemens wins $391m Turkish plant contract

Artist’s impression of Samsun power plant
Credit: Siemens

Siemens has won a €300 million ($391 million) order for a single-shaft power island with H-Class technology for the Samsun Cengiz Enerji combined-cycle power plant in Turkey.

Cengiz Enerji Sanayi ve Ticaret, an independent power production company, will build and also operate the plant.

With the SGT5-8000H and its core component, the plant will feature an installed capacity of approximately 600 MW and an efficiency of almost 61 per cent. This, claims Cengiz, will make Samsun the most efficient fossil-fired power plant in Turkey.

The Siemens scope of supply comprises a power island which includes an SGT5-8000H gas turbine, an SST5-5000 steam turbine and an SGen5-3000W generator. Siemens will also supply a Benson heat recovery steam generator, the electrical system, the SPPA-T3000 control system, and auxiliary and ancillary systems.

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