Ground breaking and clearance is under way in preparation for what the owner Conoco Global Power (UK) expects to be one of the largest, cleanest and most efficient combined heat and power plants in Europe, to be built alongside its Humber refinery in the UK. The 730 MW plant is to take shape on land owned by Conoco adjacent to the company’s refinery at South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire, and represents an investment of $300 million. Completion is expected in early 2004 of what will be the largest CHP plant in the UK

Conoco Global Power UK is a subsidiary of Conoco Inc. of the USA, currently in the process of merging with Phillips Petroleum to create the sixth largest energy company in the world.

  The facility will supply steam and electricity to the Humber refinery, steam to the neighbouring Lindsay oil refinery and electricity to the National Grid. It will also be able to market what is described as an alternative, highly efficient and competitive source of power and industrial heat to other companies in the South Humber Bank industrial area.

Clean power

Much is being made of CHP technology as one of the cleanest and most efficient ways to generate power. Now it’s official – to help meet Kyoto commitments the EU has finally decided to give the technology official backing.

The Immingham plant is to be a combined cycle gas turbine/steam turbine arrangement in conventional configuration. Steam generated using the exhaust heat content of the turbines will produce hot water for industrial use.

The plant’s two gas turbines are General Electric PG 9351 FAs, manufactured in France and the latest development of the well proven 9FA unit. Exhaust gases from the turbines will discharge through heat recovery steam generators to be supplied by Nooter Eriksen CCT of Italy. Steam from the HRSGs will discharge through the two condensing steam turbine generators supplied by Franco Tosi of Italy, each generating 115 MW of electricity. To provide steam in the event of an outage of one, or both, of the HRSGs, there are two auxiliary steam boilers, each with a capacity of 300 tonnes per hour, supplied by Foster Wheeler from their Canadian plant.

The Immingham CHP plant will contribute towards reducing atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur oxides (SOx), and nitrogen oxides (NOx), compared with power generation by conventional means. It will also make better use of certain by-products of the refining processes, reduce surplus gas flaring and conserve water resources by using existing waste water for cooling, rather than fresh water.

The plant is designed for an efficiency exceeding 70 per cent. “The energy needs of Conoco’s Humber refinery present a unique opportunity to construct a world-class CHP plant in the UK,” said Jeff Tetlow, managing director of Conoco in the UK.

Switchgear will be supplied by VA Tech T & D, which has won the r40 million contract to design, supply and instal an eight bay indoor 400 kV gas insulated switchgear substation and to supply four generator step up transformers, two rated at 335 MVA, 400/15.75kV, and two at 135 MVA, 400/15.75 kV.

EPC contract

Foster Wheeler subsidiary Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction management contract for the Immingham plant. Under this, Foster Wheeler is responsible for the detailed engineering design, procurement, construction management, commissioning, start-up and performance testing of the completed plant. The company will also provide training services, and operational and maintenance manuals and materials.