UK’s largest combined heat and power plant achieves first firing

Paul Boughton
The first firing of the new 1,275 MW combined heat and power plant (CHP) in Grain in Kent in South East England by principal contractor Alstom for its customer E.ON was successfully completed on 2 June 2010. The start of the hot commissioning phase follows completion of the main construction of the project, won by Alstom in 2007.

The project is the first engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract signed with E.ON for Alstom’s KA26 gas-fired combined cycle plant design and is part of an industry-wide, multi-billion pound investment programme in the UK to replace and upgrade power generation plants and equipment in the UK, including biomass, supercritical coal plants, wind farms and life extension of existing plants. As well as generating electricity, this innovative CHP plant will export waste heat to National Grid’s nearby liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal for converting LNG back to gas ready for use in the UK gas transmission network. By recycling this waste heat, CHP systems typically achieve high efficiencies, with lower emissions of nitrous oxides, sulphur dioxide, mercury, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas associated with climate change.

By combining Alstom's 'best in class' gas turbine and combined cycle technology with efficient heat transfer system, the new gas-fired plant is expected to provide E.ON UK with an exceptional overall efficiency of over 70 per cent, and a highly environmentally-friendly power generation solution.

The plant is set to start commercial operation during the final quarter of 2010.

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