Eraring Power Station Boiler and Turbine Upgrade Project, Australia

Maximising plant efficiency while reducing carbon footprint

Origin Energy (formerly Eraring Energy) wanted to maximise the output of the existing Eraring Power Station, located on Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle, and extend the operating life of the asset.

A major upgrade project was initiated to integrate boiler and turbine upgrade technologies to maximise plant efficiency, and to reduce the carbon footprint of the Eraring Power Station as a New South Wales base load station. The main driver for the project was to increase the short term peaking capacity of the plant to help overcome high network demand events.

Aurecon was appointed to provide engineering assistance to Origin Energy, including concept design studies, detailed thermodynamic modelling of boiler performance, technical performance specification and post upgrade performance evaluation and capability assessment.

The boiler upgrade was technically challenging due to an inherent deficiency in steam temperature attainment and this being further reduced by a higher firing rate which was required as part of the upgrade.  

An overarching requirement of the upgrade was that the resulting design must continue to provide the very high level of reliability which Eraring Power Station had demonstrated for over 30 years of operation.

Aurecon and Doosan used sophisticated boiler modelling tools to simulate plant performance under higher firing rate conditions and identify potential boiler modification options. The final design solution involved significant heat transfer surface modifications.

Effective collaboration between all project partners ensured the performance criteria were successfully met.

The output capability of each of the station’s four units was raised from 660 MWe to a demonstrated 750 MWe peak load under safe and flexible operating conditions. This has led to reduced coal consumption and carbon emissions.

The upgrade has optimised the capacity of the power plant, postponing future state government investment in coal fired generating infrastructure.

Aurecon, in conjunction with our client Origin Energy, the equipment provider Doosan and the installer Power Projects International, collected an excellence award from Engineers Australia's Newcastle Division for the project.

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