New Plymouth Power Station
|New Plymouth Power Station|
NPPS from the sea
|Location||Port Taranaki, New Plymouth, Taranaki|
|Thermal power station|
|Primary fuel||Natural gas|
|Secondary fuel||Fuel oil|
|Make and model||C A Parsons|
|Nameplate capacity||600 MW|
The New Plymouth Power Station (NPPS) was a 600 MW thermal power station at New Plymouth. Located at Port Taranaki, it was dual fuelled on natural gas and fuel oil. Constructed at a time of major hydro and HV transmission developments, it was New Zealand's first big thermal power station planned for continuous base load operation.
The power station project commenced in the 1960s, to meet rising electricity demand in New Zealand. Initially, fuel for this power station was to be coal, barged up from the West Coast, and the Port Taranaki site was chosen ahead of one at Wanganui. During early stages of the project, the Maui gas field was discovered off Taranaki. The plant design was changed to be dual fuel on either natural gas or heavy fuel oil.
The first unit was commissioned in February 1974, with the fifth unit coming on line in 1976. For the first few years, the plant ran on raw Kapuni gas. In 1979, the plant converted to Maui gas following the completion of the pipeline from Oaonui production station. The pipeline from Kapuni was re-purposed to supply Maui gas to Kapuni and onwards to the lower North Island.
The fuel oil capability was decommissioned in 1991, and reinstated in 2003.
Plant operation generally decreased from 1999, after the more efficient Otahuhu combined cycle power station was commissioned. However, the New Zealand power system derives over 60% of its electricity supply from hydro power stations and depends heavily on rainfall. NPPS has often played a vital role in dry years (such as 2001 and 2003), when hydro lake inflows were insufficient to meet demand.
In May 2008, one 100 MW unit (unit 3) was temporarily recommissioned. This was in response to a nationwide electricity generation shortfall resulting from low hydro lake levels. This unit was shut down for decommissioning in December 2008.
The boilers are balanced draught with tilting burners mounted in the corners of the furnace. Each boiler produces 376 tonnes/hour of steam at 120 bar and 538 °C, with one stage of reheat to 538 °C.
The steam turbines are 3000 rpm single-shaft, three-cylinder (HP, IP and LP) design, with six stages of feed heating. Condenser is a two-pass tubed design, using seawater as the coolant. The generators are two-poled, hydrogen cooled.
Condenser cooling is seawater, with a flow of 12,000 tonnes/hour for each unit.
The chimney is 198 m high, and contains five flues.
- Martin, John E, ed. (1991). People, Power and Power Stations: Electric Power Generation in New Zealand 1880 - 1990. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books Ltd and Electricity Corporation of New Zealand. pp. 316 pages. ISBN 0-908912-16-1.
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