Alstom to build largest combined-cycle power plant in U.K.

Industrial Info Resources

Alstom SA has secured a 900 million-pound ($1.31 billion) contract to build the biggest combined-cycle power plant in the United Kingdom.

The contract, awarded by U.K.-based RWE npower, a division of RWE Power AG (Essen, Germany), will see Alstom build the 2,000-megawatt (MW) gas-fired combined-cycle power station on the site of a former oil-powered power station at Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire, Wales. The plant is the latest in RWE npower's stated plans to create more efficient and environmentally friendly power plants. According to RWE npower, approximately 40 percent of the U.K. energy fleet was built before 1975 and will need replacement in the short to medium term.

The newly outfitted plant promises high-load flexibility while maintaining low emissions and high efficiency. Alstom stated that the plant "will be able to be run as efficiently at low load as at full capacity during peak hours, allowing the operator to respond to fluctuating energy demands."

RWE npower has already contracted Alstom to build its new 1,650-MW gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Staythorpe, Nottingham, U.K.

The new plant will include five Alstom GT26 turbines, each one to be installed in the KA26-1 single-shaft combined-cycle power plant power block. Each block will also house triple-pressure heat recovery steam generators (HRSG), a compact state-of-the-art reheat type STF30C steam turbine, a TOPGAS (hydrogen-cooled) generator and the "ALSPA" plant control system. Today, there are 85 of Alstom's GT24/GT26 units in commercial operation, with an accumulated operating time of more than 3 million hours.

"This new project clearly demonstrates that Alstom's engineering expertise is crucial to the power industry in the U.K. and around the world," Alston Power president Philippe Joubert said. "This is the second contract signed by Alstom with RWE npower in less than two years, which underlines our customer's confidence in our engineering ability."

The $1.1 billion Staythorpe power plant, currently under construction near Newark, Nottinghamshire, has been a controversial undertaking for Alstom, which has come under fire for hiring mainly foreign workers over using local British workers.

The plant itself will comprise four combined-cycle units, each using a GT26 gas turbine, one reheat steam turbine, one hydrogen-cooled TOPGAS generator and one triple-pressure reheat HRSG. Alstom will also provide operation and maintenance support to the station up to the first major inspection of each machine and has also secured a 20-year long-term spare parts agreement.

For additional information, see related August 29, 2007, news article - Alstom Scores $2.8 Billion Global Power Contracts in August.

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