GE to service RWE npower plants in UK

GE has signed a multimillion dollar, multi-year maintenance plan with UK energy company RWE npower to provide services to help increase the operating flexibility and reduce costs for its Great Yarmouth and Little Barford power plants.

Together, these two natural gas-burning plants serve the power needs of nearly 1 million UK homes and businesses, according to a 2 May statement from GE.

The Little Barford combined-cycle power station operates with two GE 9FA gas turbines and has a generating capacity of 740 megawatts, while the Great Yarmouth power station features one GE 9FA gas turbine and has a capacity of 400 megawatts. The agreement for these sites is among the largest GE service contracts signed in Europe over the past year.

Designed for 50-Hz applications, the advanced technology 9FA gas turbine delivers power with high efficiency, availability, reliability and low emissions.

The 9FA gas turbine provides the flexibility required today in many regions for power that can be rapidly adjusted to compensate for changes in renewable generation, demand or use. It provides the plant operator with choices to best meet fluctuating power demands.

The new service agreement follows a previous GE maintenance support agreement for the Little Barford plant that included the first UK installation of GE’s dual fuel DLN 2.6+ combustion system technology, which enables a 40% reduction in NOx emissions.

The new multi-year maintenance program is designed to help increase the availability and reliability of the GE 9FA gas turbines at the Little Barford and Great Yarmouth sites. It also will help the plants to maintain high levels of fuel efficiency and help reduce maintenance cycles, which translates to higher availability and increased revenue in generation. During the life of the contract, GE will supply OEM parts and technical services, including repair and training.

The agreement also positions RWE’s plants to benefit from GE’s latest technology and global experience. To date, GE has long-term service agreements in place at more than 700 sites worldwide.

“We are sharply focused on helping our customers maintain high productivity and returns on investment from their installed assets,” said Dick Ayres, general manager of GE’s Power Generation Services (PGS) business in Europe. “This level of service commitment is particularly crucial to energy producers in the U.K., which is currently experiencing an excess supply of power. In this type of environment, only the most efficient power plants can successfully compete, and we want to help our customers better position themselves long term.”

In addition to Little Barford and Great Yarmouth, GE continues to support the RWE npower cogen fleet at industrial power plants in the UK.

Through a collaborative process, RWE and GE continue to work collectively to consider improvements across the U.K. fleet including technical support for the installation, operation and maintenance of gas and steam turbines, generators, turbine controls and accessory systems.

This collaboration helps improve RWE’s overall fleet performance and availability, which contribute to a more stable power grid for the communities served by RWE.