SSE and Siemens break ground at Keadby 2, the first 50 Hz HL combined cycle plant

3 January 2019

Construction work is officially underway at Keadby, UK, on the first 50 Hz plant to use Siemens’ new HL gas turbine technology. Representatives from developer SSE and Siemens (including station manager of SSE’s adjacent Keadby 1 (operating CCGT plant at the site), Paul Goodson, and MD of Siemens Power and Gas, Wesley Tivnen) broke ground at an event on 24 October.

Keadby 2, single shaft, 1x1 configuration, with an installed capacity of 840 MW, “represents a £350 million investment to introduce first-of-a-kind, high efficiency gas- fired generation technology to the UK”, says SSE. It will be built on a full turnkey basis by Siemens, which will also provide plant services under a 15-year contract.

Once completed, the plant will be capable of achieving 63% efficiency, and will also be a flexible generator, “able to reach full combined cycle power in 30 minutes.” The plant will support the move away from coal generation and will complement intermittent renewable generation.

Work to demolish existing structures from an old coal fired plant and to prepare the ground for construction of the new plant is already underway.

From January 2019, work will begin on station construction proper, beginning with piling ahead of installation of the main foundations and steel work for the main buildings. Main components are scheduled to arrive in early 2020.

The decision to go ahead with Keadby 2 was taken without SSE securing a contract in the UK 2018 capacity auction. Commercial operation is scheduled for 2022 as UK coal power plant closures come into effect.

In June 2017, Siemens announced it was going to validate HL technology for the 60 Hz market at Duke Energy’s Lincoln County peaker plant, North Carolina, USA. The HL gas turbine here will operate in simple cycle mode, with no plans to convert it to combined cycle.

Siemens says the HL represents “an evolutionary step derived from its proven H-class technology”, combining “new but already tested technologies and design features with the best of past experience”, constituting “a technology carrier to the next level of efficiency and performance.”

Keadby 2 was first granted planning consent in 1993 and has sought a number of variations since that time to accommodate improvements in technology.

The plant will employ hybrid (ie water/air) cooling and Siemens has awarded a contract to Jiangsu Seagull Cooling Tower Co for supply of a 12 cell cooling tower. Seagull will build on previous experience supplying cooling towers to Siemens projects, including Plock (Poland), Lordstown (USA) and Beni Suef (Egypt). 

HL gas turbine
Groundbreaking ceremony for Keadby 2, with Keadby 1 in the background
Visualisation of Keadby 2

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