Construction of a steam-turbine generator

Attero invests in a new turbine

For its Energy-from-Waste plant Moerdijk, Attero is building a new steam-turbine generator to supply sustainable energy. The project comprises the construction of a steam turbine and the corresponding facilities, such as a cooling-water facility and connection to the 150kV grid. The construction started in December 2015 and will take just under two years. The lead contractor for the project is Kraftanlagen München Gmbh, a subsidiary of the Swiss industrial Alpiq group. This project enables Attero to guarantee waste processing for the future, whilst we improve our company's contribution to sustainable energy provision in the Netherlands for the long term.

Continued sustainable energy supply

Since 1997, Attero has produced sustainable energy at its Energy-from-Waste plant in Moerdijk. It is one of the most energy efficient Energy-from-waste plants in the Netherlands and the only one to produce high-pressure steam. Attero is building its own steam turbine, because from the end of 2017 steam can no longer be supplied to the adjacent power station. The contract expires and there have been no possibilities to renew it. By building its own station, Attero continues to supply sustainable energy and we can continue to supply electricity and heat to third parties.

The new steam-turbine generator will be integrated fully into the existing Energy-from-Waste plant. It takes account of supplying heat to nearby businesses and to future thermal energy grids. The new turbine building is right in front of the existing plant. Apart from constructing a steam-turbine generator that produces energy, there will also be facilities for receiving and discharging the cooling water. Facilities are also required for connecting to the national grid and there will be other additional work. The plant will supply 120 megawatt to the grid and that is sufficient to cover the electricity consumption of more than 250,000 households a year. We designed the plant in such a manner that we obtain the maximum energetic efficiency from the steam.

Second half 2016

On 20 October 2016, the newly constructed steam turbine was positioned in the turbine building. The turbine weighs 159 tonnes and was hoisted by two cranes onto a rail construction and driven to its place along those rails. The generator was positioned on the same day. This component weighs 163 tonnes and was positioned by using the same method. Both components form the heart of the steam-turbine generator that will supply more than 120 MW of energy, which is more than enough to cover the energy needs of 250,000 households.

The steam-turbine generator stands on a concrete slab that is 2.5m thick. This concrete slab rests on eight concrete pillars with large elastic systems in between to absorb any turbine vibrations. Within the Energy-from-Waste sector, this steam-turbine generator is one of the largest in the world. The turbine was built in Görlitz, not far from Dresden, near the Czech border. It was transported to Moerdijk by boat and on a low-loader for the final kilometres.

First half of 2017

This period was dominated by the construction of the fibreglass reinforced cooling water pipe. This pipe has a diameter of two metres and supplies water from the port to cool the turbine. Then a similar pipe discharges the heated water back to the surface water. This required a special bit of engineering - drilling a tunnel under the through road. The cooling water inlet has been constructed immediately behind the Energy-from-Waste plant. It has a deeply embedded concrete construction that required thousands of tonnes of concrete. The waste deliveries, involving dozens of transport movements, simply continued during the construction of this pipe that runs right across the site.

Works up to start-up

Large amounts of equipment and pipes are connected to the turbine, including vats, pumps and valves, and they all need to be connected individually. Commissioning is a phased process. First of all the equipment is tested individually to make sure it works, that the valve operates correctly, that the pumps are running as they should, et cetera. Once all the equipment works properly on its own, the plant is tested as a whole. That is when the first steam is taken to the turbine to test that it actually generates electricity, and this phase is expected to take place in the last quarter of 2017.

The project has meanwhile been expanded with steam supply to adjacent industry.

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