Close or reinventThe Kings Lynn project is, as Mark Futyan, Leader of Centrica's merchant power business describes it, pretty unique and is currently the only new combined cycle gas turbine CCGT project to get off the ground in the UK since the introduction of the capacity market. Constructed by Siemens in 1997, the King’s Lynn facility ran steadily for 15 years before being put into preservation by Centrica in 2012. The plant was designed for baseload operation but could no longer be run profitably and a decision had to be made to either close it or reinvent it.
From the outside, little will have changed, but inside it’s a very different story. We’re taking the guts out of the plant and rebuilding it.Mark Futyan, Leader of Centrica’s merchant power business
King's Lynn power plantConversations started with Siemens and the idea of a re-plant began taking shape. Designed for maximum flexibility, the work at King’s Lynn includes installing a new gas turbine, refurbishing the existing steam turbine, rewinding the generator rotor and updating the control system. With some lateral thinking and support from Siemens, Centrica have since been able to adapt the scope of the project to increase efficiency from 10MW to 15MW of additional output. The improvements will help to give the plant at least another 20 years of economic operation.
All agree the overall success of the project will come down to two things: safety and collaboration. “Both are incredibly important to us and fortunately Siemens shares those values,” says Mark. They added, “The Siemens engineers are some of the best in the industry. They’re very rigorous and thorough, they know the plant well and have done a similar scope of work at Didcot which gives us a good level of confidence.”
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