Alstom has recently handed over its part of the newly constructed Block 9 of the GKM coal-fired power station to Grosskraftwerk Mannheim AG (GKM). This was preceded by the successful completion of the trial operation, which served as the proof of performance for the reliable operation of the new power station block. The new block – one of the most modern in Europe – has been in commercial operation since May 2015.
The plant is operating at advanced ultra-supercritical (USC) conditions, in which the steam is produced and used at the highest pressure and temperature, allowing reaching the highest efficiency. As a result, the new coal-fired block is burning less coal per MW produced and making a significant contribution to the reduction of global CO2 emissions. With a gross power output of 911 MW, efficiency of over 46 per cent and a maximum fuel utilisation of 70 per cent in cogeneration mode, the new block is setting standards for high performance and low operation costs.
The commissioning and the end of trial operation of the new Block 9 unit has allowed to take two older and less performing units (Blocks 3 and 4) offline, and therefore to harvest fully the benefits of the new unit, both from an economical and an environmental standpoint, with a prevention of 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
As part of the project, Alstom was in charge of design, supply, installation and commissioning of the two main components of the power station, the steam generator (boiler), including the nitrogen oxides reduction system as well the steam turbine group (steam turbine and generator), including condensers, high-, medium- and low pressure turbines and corresponding valves.
"As a company that has guaranteed the reliable provision of electricity and district heating for Mannheim and the surrounding region for over 90 years, we are very focused on regional value creation during the realisation of our projects", said Dr. Karl-Heinz Czychon, Technical Director of Grosskraftwerk Mannheim AG. "The new Block 9 has been online since November 2014 and the scope of supply fully meets our specifications. We are proud to have produced a plant that sets new standards with thanks to the state-of-the-art technology deployed. As a highly efficient cogeneration plant, Block 9 will make a significant contribution to meeting the German government's goals for the expansion of cogeneration. Moreover, by preventing CO2 emissions of 1.3 million tonnes per year, it will also help to achieve climate and environmental protection goals."
During the installation works on site, Alstom attached great importance to compliance with health and safety legislation – on the part of both its own staff and the installation companies engaged. As a result: the entire construction period passed without any serious work-related accidents.