Siemens and Drax Power Enter £40 Million Contract for Upgradation of Biomass Turbines

The work at the North Yorkshire plant will start in 2019 and take three years to complete


Drax Power and Siemens have signed a £40 million ($52.47 million) contract for the upgrade of turbines on three of Drax Power’s biomass units over the next three years. The upgrades will deliver efficiencies, as well as maintenance savings, which will cut the cost of biomass electricity production at the plant in North Yorkshire.

The work will start in 2019 and take three years to complete. One biomass unit will be upgraded each year as part of this planned overhaul. The efficiencies will be gained by fitting new, high tech pipework and valves, with new high-efficiency blading and long-life seals within the turbines on biomass units 1, 2, and 3.

Since transforming half of the power station to run on compressed wood pellets instead of coal, it has become Europe’s biggest decarbonization project – and the UK’s largest single site renewable power generator.

Andy Koss, Drax Power CEO, said, “We firmly believe that biomass has a long-term role to play in the UK’s energy infrastructure. We’re looking at a number of ways to bring down the costs of our biomass generation – and these turbine upgrades are an important part of that work. Reducing the costs of our biomass operations will help to preserve the life of the plant and protect jobs, whilst we continue to produce the flexible, renewable power millions of homes and businesses rely on.”

Darren Davidson, Managing Director, Power Generation Services, Power and Gas, Siemens, said, “Siemens and Drax have a long-standing and proud partnership so it’s fantastic that we will now help them further develop their biomass solution. Once delivered this project will improve plant efficiency and flexibility and provide a further source of low carbon power to UK homes, businesses and services.”

Recently, Siemens won a contract with Trung Nam Group to supply equipment for Vietnam’s largest solar park in operation.

Image credit: Gordon Kneale Brooke / Drax Power Station via Wikimedia Commons