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Peterhead Power Station
Boddam, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK
Peterhead Power Station
associated engineer
Not known
date  May 1973 - 1982, February 1998 - 2000
UK era  Modern  |  category  Power Generation  |  reference  NK127430
photo  Roland Paxton
Originally oil-fired but now run on various gases, Peterhead is one of the most efficient power stations in the UK and has very low pollution levels. The Scottish offshore oil and gas industries prompted economic growth, and higher demands for power, which in turn led to a number of upgrading works at Peterhead.
The power station is located on a 20 hectare coastal site and uses the sea for cooling water. It has access to harbour facilities for the importation of fuel. It was built by the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board at a cost of £230m.
The cooling water intake tunnel passes through very weathered granite, and the rock had to be temporarily supported by steel ribs during construction. The finished tunnel is 4m in diameter internally and has a 300mm thick concrete lining. It was completed in 1976.
The power station's two 660MW generators, which can use either heavy fuel oil or natural gas, were commissioned in 1980 and 1982. In 1989, work began to install two 120MW open cycle gas turbines fuelled by North Sea gas supplied by BP. The power station's capacity then increased to 1,540MW.
In February 1998, Siemens Power won a £220m turnkey contract to repower the station. The foundations and civil engineering works cost £3.2m. The power station was extended to accommodate three new 250MW V94.3A gas turbines. The waste steam from these turbines powers one of the original 660MW generators, creating a combined cycle gas turbine system. The 120MW turbines were decommissioned.
In addition, the two oil-fired boilers were converted to burn natural gas, sour gas or a combination of methane, propane and butane. Works were completed in summer 2000.
Peterhead Power Station is now operated by Scottish & Southern Energy plc. In November 2007, upgrading work increased the theoretical capacity to 2,400MW, although the transmission system limits production to 1,540MW as before. Two of the 250MW gas turbines were decommissioned in May 2009.
In July 2008, UK energy minister Malcolm Wicks admitted a carbon capture proposal had been abandoned because of cost. A new a 350MW generator, powered by hydrogen obtained from converting natural gas into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, could have reduced emissions from power generation by more than 90 percent. The waste carbon dioxide, stored in a North Sea oil reservoir, would also have increased the yield of oil.
Architect: Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall & Partners
Boiler supply: Babcock Power Ltd, and Doosan
Turbine and generator supply: General Electric (UK) Co, and Siemens
Foundation work (1998-2000): Balfour Beatty Construction
Main contractor (1998-2000): Siemans Power
Research: ECPK

Peterhead Power Station