Three of Drax power station's intermediate pressure (IP) turbines are to be upgraded under a new contract with Siemens Energy.

Three of Drax power station’s intermediate pressure (IP) turbines are to be upgraded under a new contract with Siemens Energy Service Fossil in Newcastle, UK. They will be supplied by Siemens and installed by a joint Drax-Siemens team, and are expected to contribute to Drax’s efficiency improvement programme.
The new contract was awarded following the successful completion of an earlier £100 million turbine upgrade, which, over a period of five years, saw the replacement of the high pressure and low pressure turbine modules of all six generating units at the plant. It has increased the overall efficiency of the power station to almost 40% and reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by one million tonnes per year. Drax’s turbines are now said to be among the most efficient in the world.
Commenting on the new order, Peter Emery, production director at Drax said:
"We have taken the decision to upgrade the intermediate pressure turbines of the three generating units that are to be converted to burn sustainable biomass in place of coal. This will optimise the efficiency of those units by helping to offset any loss in efficiency experienced as a result of the change in fuel diet. The project builds on the success of the major turbine upgrade programme completed last year and underlines our commitment to delivering leading operational performance in power generation."
The new design means that each intermediate pressure (IP) turbine will be installed as a module, which will support the ease of installation and reduce the duration of the outage required to install it. Siemens’ steam turbine engineering team in Newcastle is undertaking the design and drafting elements of the project. The IP modules will be manufactured at the company’s factory in Mülheim an der Ruhr with critical support from Newcastle’s engineering, projects and field service teams.
Each IP module weighs 63.5 tonnes and has 26 rows of blades. The first module is scheduled to be installed in 2014 with project completion in 2015.