From coal to biomass: converting a power plant

Tuesday, 07 February, 2017 | Supplied by: Emerson Automation Solutions

Lynemouthplant hires 5x3

Britain’s EPH Lynemouth Power has awarded Emerson a contract to help convert the 44-year-old coal-fired Lynemouth Power Station to a biomass-fuelled power plant. When the conversion is complete in late 2017, the plant will be fuelled by approximately 1.4 million tons of wood waste per year, supplying the national grid with up to 390 MW of low-carbon electricity.

As main automation contractor and main electrical contractor, Emerson will be responsible for helping the project come online within budget and on time. This includes responsibility for demolition, engineering, installation, start-up, commissioning and coordination of work among multiple suppliers and contractors.

Emerson offers a single integrated automation platform for all applications — turbine, boiler, fuel handling and balance-of-plant processes, as well as electrical systems. This capability, along with the company’s project management expertise, was critical in EPH Lynemouth Power’s decision to select Emerson and its Ovation distributed control system for this project.

“Relying on a single supplier and a single technology platform for both the automation and electrical scope provides our client a number of benefits,” said Bob Yeager, president, Power & Water, Emerson Automation Solutions. “From a planning perspective, having a single interface and contract for design, engineering and delivery improves overall project efficiency. On the operational side, utilising one technology platform will simplify plant operation and enhance plant performance on an ongoing basis.”

According to Yeager, the demand for biomass-fuelled power is growing as utilities diversify their generating portfolio to meet evolving environmental mandates. Unfortunately, biomass power plants are challenging to operate because the moisture content of biomass fuels can vary, having a negative impact on plant performance. Technology integrated into Ovation continuously monitors fuel for moisture content, adjusting combustion air as necessary to improve plant efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.

“We are helping the industry meet its targets by seamlessly bridging the automation and electrical aspects of these projects, resulting in a total solution that has a positive impact on the plant’s commercial and operational success,” said Yeager.

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