Grain Power Station

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Grain Power Station
Grain Power Station - geograph.org.uk - 1354932.jpg
Grain Power Station is located in Kent
Grain Power Station
Location of Grain Power Station
Country England
Location Isle of Grain
Kent
Coordinates 51°26′43″N 0°42′54″E / 51.445181°N 0.715028°E / 51.445181; 0.715028Coordinates: 51°26′43″N 0°42′54″E / 51.445181°N 0.715028°E / 51.445181; 0.715028
Commission date 1979
Decommission date 2012
Operator(s) E.ON
Power generation
Primary fuel Oil-fired
Secondary fuel Natural gas
Units operational 5 (2 oil, 3 gas)
Make and model Alstom (CCGT)
Nameplate capacity 1,320MW (oil) and 1,275MW (gas)
Cogeneration? Yes
Combined cycle? Yes
Website
Grain Power Station
grid reference TQ886753

Grain Power Station is a closed oil-fired and CCGT power station in Kent, England, with operational capacity of 1,320MW owned by E.ON UK.

History[edit]

Grain was built on a 250-acre (1.0 km2) site for the nationalised Central Electricity Generating Board. It was built by several contractors including John Laing Construction (Civils), the Cleveland Bridge Company (Steel Frame & Cladding), N. G. Bailey (Electrical), Babcock & Wilcox (Boilers) and GEC Turbine Generators Ltd (steam turbines) beginning before 1975.[1] It opened in 1979. It is located on the Isle of Grain, where the River Medway flows into the Thames Estuary. The station has the second tallest chimney in the UK,[2] at 244 metres (801 ft), visible from a wide area of North Kent and parts of South Essex. It adjoins the site of the BP Kent oil refinery, which closed in 1982. The station burns oil to drive, via steam turbines, two 690MW (gross power output – but 30 MW is used on-site, leaving 660 MW for export to the Grid) alternators. The station is capable of generating enough electricity to supply approximately 2% of Britain's peak electricity needs.

The station was originally designed to have a total capacity of 3,300MW from five sets of boiler/turbine combinations but currently has an operational capacity of 1,320MW. The two remaining oil-fired generating units were mothballed by Powergen in 2002 and 2003, but almost immediately the company began to consider reopening the plant as electricity prices increased rapidly. It is operated by E.ON UK who also operates the nearby Kingsnorth coal-fired station.

The plant does not meet the emissions requirements of the Large Combustion Plant Directive and is required to close in 2015.[3]

However, due to the rising costs of maintaining the plant, E.ON UK, the owners of Grain Oil power station, have announced that Grain is to be mothballed and the site closed by 31 December 2012.[4] Grain Oil power station has not generated electricity in two years and has been maintained as standby capacity for the grid.

As of 2014 the Grain Oil Site has started demolition, this being carried out by Brown and Mason Ltd, and is expected to take around 2 years to complete

Grain CHP gas plant[edit]

A new 1,275MW plant consisting of three natural gas-fired units capable of generating enough electricity to supply around one million homes has been constructed on the site at a cost of £500m. The power station is able to transfer up to 340MW of heat energy recovered from the steam condensation to run the vaporisers in the nearby Liquefied natural gas Terminal, allowing for a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 350,000 tonnes a year.[5]

Construction work on the plant finished in May 2010 at a cost of £580 million, being built by Alstom. Work had started in May 2007. One of the gas turbines was first fired on 2 June 2010. The overall efficiency is expected to be 72%. It has three GT26 gas turbines. It supplies enough electricity for around one million homes, but also 340MW of thermal energy to the nearby natural gas Grain LNG terminal owned by National Grid. The whole scheme is designed to three Alstom KA26 Single-Shaft Combined Cycle Power Plant Power Blocks; these include a STF30C reheat steam turbine, a heat recovery steam generator and a TOPGAS hydrogen-cooled turbogenerator each.[6]

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