Drax signs contract with Siemens for £100 million turbine upgrade
February 15, 2007
Contract marks largest steam turbine modernisation project in UK history
Drax Power Limited has today announced that it has signed a contract with Siemens Power Generation (”Siemens”) to replace the low pressure and high pressure turbines on all six units at Drax Power Station, near Selby, North Yorkshire.
The project represents an investment of some £100 million and is part of the Company’s commitment to tackling climate change through reducing its emission of carbon dioxide (”CO2“) by 5%. This contract marks the start of the largest turbine modernisation project in UK history.
Replacing the turbines at the power station will improve the overall efficiency of the plant taking it close to 40%, strengthening its position as the UK’s most efficient coal-fired generator. The efficiency improvement feeds through to environmental improvement and will result in a saving of one million tonnes of CO2 each year, equivalent to taking 275,000 cars off the road.
At the beginning of 2006, Drax outlined plans to its investors to deliver value through additional investment. It is fully expected that the upgrade will not only improve efficiency, but also reliability and availability in generation output.
Drax has a long standing relationship with Siemens, which is the original equipment manufacturer of the Station’s existing turbines. Siemens’ UK-based engineers will install new turbines which use the most advanced technology to maximise efficiency. The bulk of the project work will commence in 2008 and will take four years to complete, however, advantage will be taken of the opportunity to conduct some early, limited work during the second of the 2007 planned outages. The work will coincide with major statutory outages for each of the six units, so ensuring that there is no unnecessary lost generation time.
Dorothy Thompson, Chief Executive of Drax, said:
“We have made a commitment to reduce our emissions of CO2 and we have made a commitment to our shareholders to deliver value. The turbine upgrade delivers against both of those commitments.
“At Drax, we are only too well aware of the need to tackle climate change and we firmly believe that we are part of the solution. We have a role to play in the transition towards a low carbon economy whilst at the same time delivering reliable supplies of electricity.”
Jens-Peter Saul, UK Managing Director of Siemens Power Generation, said:
“We are very proud to be associated with the largest steam turbine modernisation in UK history, which will improve efficiency and help reduce CO2 emissions. Siemens has a 30-year association with Drax and we were very keen to win this prestigious project at Western Europe’s largest coal-fired power station.”
Drax Power Station has also pioneered the use of co-firing technology to burn renewable biomass materials alongside coal. The implementation of proposed changes to the co-firing regulations under the Government’s Renewables Obligation will make it possible for Drax to commit to 10% of its electricity coming from renewable sources by the end of 2009, delivering a further two million tonnes saving in CO2 emissions. Combined with the completed turbine upgrade, Drax is set to reduce its annual emissions of CO2 by 15% (based on current output levels) by 2011.
Pinsent Masons were the legal advisers to Drax Power Limited.
For more information, please contact:
Head of External Affairs
+44(0) 1757 618381
Press Officer Siemens plc
+44(0) 1344 396338
Notes to Editors
About Drax Power Limited
1. Drax Power Limited is the operating subsidiary of Drax Group plc and the owner of Drax Power Station, the largest, cleanest and most efficient coal fired power station in the UK. The output capacity from the station’s six generators is 4,000MW. At current output levels it meets some 7% of the UK’s electricity needs.
2. Drax Group is one of the largest independent generating companies in the country.
About Siemens Power Generation
3. Operating Plant Services in the UK is part of Siemens’ global network of companies, servicing the power generation industry around the world. In the UK, Siemens provides on-site maintenance for power generation equipment and has a service repair facility in Newcastle upon Tyne.
About Siemens in the UK
4. Siemens was established in the United Kingdom 164 years ago. The company employs 20,314 people in the UK, including about 6,500 in the manufacturing sector. Last year’s revenues were £3.5 billion, including exports of £580 million, and it spent almost £75 million on research and development. As a leading global engineering company, Siemens provides innovative solutions to help tackle the world’s major challenges, including the shortage of natural resources, increasing environmental care, and a growing demand for healthcare, mobility and security. Siemens has offices and factories throughout the UK, with its headquarters in Bracknell, Berkshire. The company’s global headquarters is in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.siemens.co.uk
About Pinsent Masons
5. Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 250 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 and is in the Global 100 of law firms. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester. Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Beijing, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai and is a founder member of the PMLG international network with offices in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary and the Baltic States. Pinsent Masons also has key strategic alliances in other European countries, India and the USA.