Drax turbine upgrade will deliver 40% efficiency gain

Drax power station is a month away from the completion of a £100m steam turbine upgrade which it claims will cut the plant's CO2 emissions by one million tonnes a year.

The turbine modernisation programme at the North Yorkshire plant began five years ago and is scheduled to increase the plant’s overall efficiency of almost 40%, while also delivering improved reliability and generation output.

The modernisation programme is being carried out by Siemens AG and applies to both low pressure and high pressure turbines on all six units at the power station. The new turbines, manufactured by Siemens Germany, consist of 28 separate turbine rotors weighing more than 2,800 tonnes, and more than 80,000 individualised turbine blades.

Drax production director Peter Emery said: “This project demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering leading operational performance. The completion of this project makes our turbines amongst some of the most efficient in the world. As the UK’s largest coal-fired power station, we take our responsibility to cut carbon emissions seriously and this project marks a significant milestone in our efforts to do that.”

Drax power station claims to be the largest, cleanest and most efficient coal-fired power station in the UK with an output capacity from the station’s six generators of 4,000MW. At current output levels Drax supplies some 7% of the UK’s electricity needs.

The plant operators say it is already delivering significant CO2 emissions reductions through both the turbine upgrade and burning sustainable biomass in place of some of its coal.

Edie staff

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