“This is one of Alstom’s most significant projects to date
globally” – Project Director Ken Larsen, talking about the inauguration of the Pembroke power plant in southwest Wales.
The plant – the largest Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station in the UK – was officially opened September 19 and supplies power to around three and a half million homes – more than the population of Wales where the power station is based.
The CCGT concept for a power generating unit is incredibly efficient, as it reuses the hot exhaust gas from the gas turbine, which is passed through a heat exchanger to generate steam, which is expanded through a steam turbine, thus producing a combined cycle of high efficiency and low emissions.
Alstom has now built four of the last six gas-fired power stations in the UK – demonstrating the vital role we are playing in ensuring the UK’s lights stay on while also reducing emissions as gas gradually replaces coal.
With around a third of the UK’s coal-fired power stations set to close over the next decade, and up to 35 GW of new generating capacity required by 2020, the likes of Pembroke will go a long way to providing secure, affordable energy for the future.
Built on the site of the previous oil-fired power station, the gas-fired plant is not only cleaner, but also more efficient than its predecessor.
The plant is also very flexible – allowing it to ramp up and down the amount of electricity it generates in line with demand.
The plant includes five Alstom GT26 Gas Turbines and accompanying components, which offer high load flexibility while maintaining low emissions with high efficiency.
The plant is able to operate as efficiently at low loads as at full capacity during peak demand, thus allowing the operator to respond to fluctuating energy demands.
“Generating electricity from gas is more efficient than using other fossil fuels and produces less than half the CO2 emissions compared to electricity generated by existing coal-fired power stations,” said Ken.
“This new project clearly demonstrates that Alstom’s engineering expertise is crucial to the power industry in the UK, and around the world.”
Pembroke is the second contract that Alstom has signed with RWE npower in the UK, following the contract won in 2007 for the gas-fired 1,650 MW Staythorpe power plant, in Nottinghamshire. Today, on Twitter, RWE said that the plant would contribute: "GBP 10 million to the local economy every year." To hear more from RWE, click here to access the RWE press release
In addition to Staythorpe, Alstom has also recently completed UK Centrica’s Langage and E.ON’s Grain CCGTs.
Taken together, these four power plants will add close to 6GW of new electrical power to the UK grid.
Wherever Alstom operates, it strives to forge ties with local partners and engages to support communities. In July, the Pembroke team hosted a rock n' roll fundraising event, sponsored by Alstom and raising £15,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the Wales Air Ambulance.
The safety and wellbeing of Alstom employees, those working alongside Alstom employees, and visitors to an Alstom-owned or operated site, is one of our highest priorities. In the UK, Alstom has stringent Environment, Health and Safety policies and management systems which have enabled us to achieve a strong safety record across the industries in which we operate. During the construction of the Pembroke power plant the team were awarded with a prestigious British Safety Council Sword of Honour safety success award.