Siemens is to build a €66m combustion test centre for gas turbines in Germany. The plant near Berlin will have three cells for investigating combustion processes of burners under real life conditions and is due to be operational in 2014.

Roland Fischer, chief executive of Siemens Energy’s Fossil Power Generation Division said the centre was being built because “combustion is the key to even higher efficiency in gas turbines but there are limits to our ability to simulate it on a computer”.

At Power-Gen International in Las Vegas yesterday (Weds), Eric Four of Siemens Energy said that 2011 was “the most successful year ever” for the company.

Bonnie Marini, the company’s director of product line management, said a particular milestone was the performance of the SGT-8000H gas turbine at Irsching IV power station in Germany, which has operated at 60.75 per cent efficiency, breaking the 60 per cent barrier for the first time.

She said that 60 per cent operating efficiency “was like the four-minute-mile for power plants”.

For more oil and gas fired power news