Drax Power Station £100m refit close to completion

WORKERS at Newcastle’s Siemens are close to completing work on a £100m modernisation programme at Drax Power Station.

Drax power station's turbines were replaced over a five-year period

WORKERS at Newcastle’s Siemens are close to completing work on a £100m modernisation programme at Drax Power Station.

Within a month, the largest steam turbine modernisation programme in UK history is expected to be finished at the North Yorkshire plant, enabling it to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes a year. This is roughly the equivalent of taking 275,000 cars off the road.

Siemens AG was awarded the contract in 2007, and has worked with Drax over the last five years to replace the low-pressure and high-pressure turbines on all six units at the power station. The project drew on the expertise of staff at the company’s bases in Newcastle and Muelheim an der Ruhr in Germany.

Darren Davidson, head of projects at Siemens Energy Service Fossil in Newcastle, said: “We are delighted to have been part of this key project for Drax, and to have contributed to its carbon emission reduction and efficiency targets so significantly.

“Over the past five years, each unit has been delivered successfully and on schedule. We have worked with Drax from the start of the tendering phase, helping to bring to light issues relating to the sustainability of the plant, and, together during the project, execution work to deliver improvements in design through to installation to achieve project objectives.

“The whole team has demonstrated excellence throughout the project. We have to thank the team at Drax and our colleagues in Newcastle and Muelheim for their co-operative approach, which has embraced great teamwork principles throughout. We look forward to continuing to support Drax on future projects.”

The turbines – made by Siemens in Germany – feature 28 separate turbine rotors weighing over 2,800 tonnes, as well as over 80,000 individualise turbine blades. This is expected to increase overall efficiency by nearly 40%, as well as improve reliability and availability in generation output.

Peter Emery, production director at Drax, said: “The completion of this project makes our turbines among some of the most efficient in the world, and its successful completion is due to our excellent collaborative relationship with Siemens in Newcastle and Muelheim.

“As the UK’s largest coal- fired power station, we take our responsibility to cut carbon emissions seriously and this project marks a significant milestone in our efforts to do that.”

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