23 May 2007 – Spanish utility Endesa has embarked on an initiative to modernise the steam turbines in use at its coal-fired plants located within the Iberian Peninsula.
The project involves work on the As Pontes (La Coruna), Compostilla (Ponferrada), Teruel (Andorra-Teruel), Litoral (Almeria) and Los Barrios (Cadiz) plants.
The modernisation process, which requires an investment in excess of €54m ($72.7m), consists of removing all the moving (rotor) and fixed elements of the high and medium pressure turbines and replacing them with new, highly-efficient materials boasting cutting-edge designs. Only the outer shells of the current turbines will survive the process intact.
The modernisation work will be carried out at the same time as the major services of the power plants or, in the case of the As Pontes plant, the conversions of the boilers, and will benefit the company by extending the useful life of the turbines by around 25 years.
Turnkey contracts for the work have been awarded to three turbine manufacturing companies. The work in question will commence in July 2007 and will last until 2010, when modernisation work on the Compostilla power station will be completed.
The primary objective of the initiative is to improve the specific consumption of each plant by 3 per cent, largely thanks to a more efficient design and the use of new materials.
As well as extending their useful life, the modernisation of the steam turbines will bring about other benefits, such as increased output power, improved availability and reduced maintenance costs, stemming from the use of newly designed components that suffer less wear and tear between services.
As a result of the modernisation work, ENDESA plants located within the Iberian Peninsula will become significantly more competitive.
From an environmental standpoint, the advantages speak for themselves. The modernisation will lead to yearly savings of approximately 290 000 tonnes of coal and will likewise cut CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 550 000 tonnes a year.
The modernisation work on the plants will require over 200 000 hours of assembly.