Centrica Places UK CCGT Order
Centrica has contracted Siemens to replace its 1997-built combined-cycle gas turbine at King’s Lynn in Norfolk with a brand new 380-MW CCGT generation unit. The order, value of which was not specified, will include a 12-year service contract including parts.
“The new Siemens F-class gas turbine will further increase the efficiency of the King’s Lynn plant,” said Olaf Kreyenberg, Siemens’ head of power generation sales in Europe. The original CCGT was mothballed in March 2012 when the site became uneconomic to run, owing to cheap coal and high gas prices. Since then, however, gas prices have eased and a UK carbon price floor introduced – both more favourable to the operation of CCGTs whose use has risen at the expense of coal.
Siemens said that its cooperation with Centrica enabled the latter to participate successfully in the UK capacity market auction in December 2016: King’s Lynn was the only large new-build CCGT to succeed in that auction.
The existing mothballed King's Lynn CCGT (Photo credit: Centrica)
Siemens will replace the existing V94.3 gas turbine with a new SGT5-4000F gas turbine, delivered from its gas turbine factory in Berlin.
Centrica confirmed February 24 that work was due to start within a month on installation of the new CCGT at King’s Lynn, capacity of which it puts at 370 MW, which is scheduled to start up in 2019. However at annual results on the previous day, the UK utility also confirmed closure last March of another CCGT at Killingholme.
Ireland's ESB recently held an event to open officially its 880-MW Carrington CCGT near Manchester that began operations last September. That one uses turbines supplied by US giant GE.
Analysts Timera Energy said April 3 that more than 40% of incremental European gas demand in 2016 was in the UK, where the gap between coal and gas marginal costs in power generation is narrower than the continent because of the UK carbon price floor. Higher coal prices also spurred CCGT use in 2016, said Timera.
Siemens last week announced a $570mn order for 12 smaller gas turbines with a total capacity of 690 MW, including a long-term service agreement, to be installed at four plants in Argentina; the order was placed by two Canadian private equity companies Stoneway Capital and Araucaria Energy.