SembCorp Revives GBP20 Million Wilton Power Station Gas Turbine Project In UK

UK, Oct 16, 2003

- A GBP20 million project marking a new chapter in the history of the Wilton Power Station on Teesside, UK is back on track.

SembCorp Utilities Teesside has approved the funding to complete the Gas Turbine project suspended 18 months ago. The project had been put on hold following the collapse of Enron.

Now, the sale of the utilities and services business, formerly owned by Enron Teesside Operations Limited (ETOL), to the Singapore-owned company SembCorp Utilities Teesside Limited has given the project new financial backing.

The 40MW gas turbine will be integrated within the existing power station and will make a step change in the operational flexibility and efficiency of the station, which supplies electrical power and steam to many of the blue chip chemical companies on Teesside.

In particular, it will allow the station to respond more quickly and effectively to customer demands for large quantities of steam and will further aid the 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide reductions already achieved by the plant in its 50 year history.

With increasing concern over global warming, combined heat and power plants are particularly valuable. Indeed, the Wilton station still operates at a much higher efficiency than even the most modern conventional power station. This is because the Wilton plant pipes steam to customers for use on their chemical plants instead of disposing of vast quantities of steam in large cooling towers.

Engineering design, construction and commissioning work will take around 15 months to complete, beginning almost immediately. SembUtilities Solutions, SembCorp Utilities Teesside’s own in-house project execution team, will manage the overall project. However the power island will be managed by Aker Kvaerner’s AK Engineering Services business. Around 85 jobs will be created during the construction phase.

Paul Gavens, SembCorp Utilities Teesside Managing Director, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that this project can now be re-started. It will play a major part in enhancing the long-term future of the power station, underpinning the jobs of the people who work there.

“It’s great that SembCorp Utilities has given its full backing to such an important project. Our customers require uninterrupted supplies of steam and power and this unit will underpin the reliability of those supplies.”

The new gas turbine will also bring environmental benefits, replacing an oil-fired boiler and resulting in substantially reduced emissions from the plant. The Wilton Power Station will retain the flexibility to use oil as a backup to coal or gas to ensure that the high reliability achieved by the plant since its inception in the early 1950s is maintained.

A total of 579 people work for SembCorp Utilities Teesside, including around 160 directly linked to power station operations.

In continuing the project with Aker Kvaerner, SembCorp Utilities Teesside recognises Aker Kvaerner’s track record in similar projects worldwide, in particular its experience, knowledge and thorough understanding of the process and engineering issues related to this technology.

Malcolm Oliver, President of AK Engineering Services, said: “We are delighted that the project is continuing. Our local presence, combined with our international capability in the power sector, will enable us to deliver an optimised technical solution to SembCorp Utilities Teesside.”

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SembCorp Utilities Teesside Limited is a major supplier of essential utilities and a wide range of services at the massive Wilton International manufacturing site on Teesside. The business also has major industrial customers at the neighbouring Billingham and North Tees sites. Formed in April 2003, SembCorp Utilities Teesside Limited also owns substantial parts of the Wilton International site. Its assets include the Wilton Power Station, a water treatment plant and distribution systems for electricity, steam, gas, compressed air and water. Support services include fire protection, security, asset management, infrastructure, effluent services, analytical services and stores.

AK Engineering Services is the trading name of Kvaerner Engineering & Construction UK Ltd., and one of the core businesses of the Aker Kvaerner group in Europe. It provides total asset life cycle solutions including conceptual design, engineering, procurement, project management, construction and commissioning, through to operation and maintenance services, modifications and process improvements. Also offered are consultancy services in reliability, business modelling and environmental, health, safety and risk management. The Aker Kvaerner group consists of many legally independent entities, constituting their own separate identities. Aker Kvaerner is used as the common brand or trademark for most of these entities.

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